Alonso: I wouldn’t change anything
Fernando Alonso insists he wouldn't change anything in his approach to the 2012 F1 season despite missing out on the title in Brazil
Fernando Alonso insisted that he wouldn't change anything about his own performance during the 2012 F1 season despite missing out on the championship title in Brazil.
The Spaniard went into the final race of the year 13 points behind Sebastian Vettel but saw the season finale turned on its head when Vettel was involved in a clash with Bruno Senna on the opening lap and dropped to the rear of the field.
It gave Alonso a real chance of beating his rival to the title, with the Spaniard in a position to win his third championship on a number of occasions as the race wore on.
When it really mattered however, second place wasn't enough to give Alonso the title after Vettel was able to cross the line in sixth spot but the Spaniard said he was proud of the way in which he had maintained his championship bid in a car many felt wasn't capable of being a contender.
The double champion also admitted that the title had been lost in Belgium and Japan where he was forced to retire on the opening lap; the only two occasions that he would fail to score all season.
"I score this season a ten!" he said. "If we had to repeat these twenty races I would change nothing done by the team or yours truly: no mistakes, no mechanical problems, zero problems at the pit stops, zero strategic mistakes. We definitely did not lose the title today, as that happened in Spa or Suzuka.
"We might not have finished the season with the most points, but we won many other things, like everyone's respect and fans and colleagues agree on who was the best this year. I am proud of the job I did and that was also the case last year when I finished fourth and again this time when I fought right to the very end.
"Once again we did an impeccable job, finishing on the podium after starting from the fourth row, producing yet another little Sunday miracle. The team kept me constantly updated about Vettel and, towards the end, I was hoping something might happen to him or Button which would allow us to reach our goal. It didn't happen and we must accept the result delivered on the race track.
"What to ask from the team for 2013? That's easy, a quicker car, but most of all I'd like to see the same effort and professionalism the team displayed when it reacted to our initial difficulties. Even if maybe we didn't manage to reach the performance level of the best, everyone demonstrated total dedication."
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said he was proud of the way the team performed in Brazil, with Felipe Massa joining Alonso on the podium, and insisted it was now vital that the team made sure it was in a position to challenge at the front from the first race of the 2013 campaign in an attempt to take the titles away from Red Bull next year.
"I am proud of my team," he said. "We fought all the way to the bitter end, getting both our drivers onto the podium for the final race of the season. When you miss out on the title by the smallest of margins, naturally there is some regret. I want to congratulate Fernando on what he has done this year: his season has been simply fantastic. Felipe drove very well in the second half of the season and demonstrated once again that he is a real team player.
"I also want to thank Stefano Domenicali and all his colleagues for the work they have done, day after day, to produce a car that, in terms of reliability, was perfect and for what they achieved on track in terms of strategy and the work in the garage. Now we must immediately concentrate on next season, because, right from the start, we must have a car that is competitive at the highest level."