Ferrari can turn a woeful Formula One season to their advantage and come back stronger next year, according to team boss Jean Todt.
The Frenchman breathed a sigh of relief after Sunday's season-ending Chinese Grand Prix that the beaten 2004 champions' year-long nightmare was over after yet another humiliation by their rivals.
"We had such a bad season that it is probably good to finish like that because it makes clear where we are and what we have to do," Todt said.
"If we had finished third [in the race] it would not have changed anything in the final result but maybe someone would have thought we were not so bad.
"Sometimes when you are bad, it's good to have your nose in the shit so that you smell it clearly and you react."
Ferrari ended up third in the constructors' championship, thanks to the 18 points gained from the six-car US Grand Prix after the Michelin-equipped teams pulled out because of tyre safety concerns.
Without them, they might have been fourth behind Toyota.
The Shanghai locals must be wondering by now whet her Schumacher is all he is made out to be.
In the Ferrari ace's two appearances in China, the most successful driver in the sport's history has struggled among the backmarkers and failed to finish in the top 10.
Last year he started from the pit lane and was lapped on his way to 12th place, this year he left with an official reprimand for causing the collision.
The German's final race of the season summed up Ferrari's woes after winning six constructors' championships in succession and his five drivers titles in a row.
Schumacher was third in the drivers' championship but scored just seven points in the last six Grands Prix and would have been fourth had McLaren's Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya not retired on Sunday.
"It's better to have all your accidents in one day, so he did a good job," Todt said wryly of Schumacher's performance.
"And still he finished third in the championship... that is a miracle."
He said work needs to be done in all areas.
"The final result is never the result of only one thing... together with our partners, we did not do a good job so we paid the price.
"Maybe this wakes you up if you think you no longer have anything to learn. It's so obvious what our problem has been, not enough grip, lack of stability of our car."
Ferrari are the only main team on Bridgestone tyres. Michelin won every race apart from Indianapolis.