Alonso: Vettel a worthy champion, Red Bull favourites for 2013
By Berthold Bouman
Runner-up in the 2012 championship, Fernando Alonso, thinks Sebastian Vettel deserved the title this year. “Vettel is a worthy champion: he scored more points than anyone else and that is clear for all to see,” the Spaniard said during a sponsor meeting in Madrid.
Red Bull were very strong this year, and will be just as strong in 2013 according to the Ferrari driver. “Red Bull will again be favourites next year, ending this season with seven or eight tenths in hand over us and that will be hard for us to make up over the winter. The McLaren was also quicker than us and, at the end, even Force India and Lotus were ahead of us,” Alonso said.
But although it will be difficult to perform even better than this season, he is still confident Ferrari will have a better car next season. “Sometimes you think you’ve done a good job and at others you feel something is lacking or that you would like to change or improve for the following year, but this time, I think this was a perfect year and I am very happy with my season.” And he added, “I remain confident, partly because we will be starting from a better base than this year.”
Alonso won the Malaysian, European and German Grands Prix, and looking back at this season he said, “It would be hard to start as badly as in 2012: in Jerez at the first test, we were two seconds and a half off the pace, in Australia one and a half seconds … There’s a lot of work to do but our objective is clear: to have two Ferraris ahead of the field, both on Saturday and Sunday.”
He again was asked about the yellow flag controversy in Brazil, but Alonso said the case was closed, “I can only repeat what I already said in Valencia: Ferrari was right to ask the FIA for a clarification in order to remove all doubt for the fans: the Federation replied that everything was in order and so the case is closed.”
Red Bull Racing won both 2012 championships
Although Ferrari didn’t have a really fast car this season and had problems getting the Pirelli tyres up to working temperature, they took second place in the Constructors’ Championship as well, albeit 60 points behind Red Bull.
Alonso not only won three races, he also took five second places, five third places and two pole positions this season, but also retired twice as he was eliminated by Romain Grosjean in Belgium, and Kimi Raikkonen ran into the back of Alonso’s Ferrari during the Japanese Grand Prix.
Pre-season testing will take place at Jerez from February 5-8 and in Barcelona from February 19-22 and February 28 – March 3.