Ferrari will build on 'dream' season, insists Fernando Alonso

 

Sao Paulo

When Sebastian Vettel snatched the 2010 World Championship from beneath his nose in Abu Dhabi in the last race of the season, insiders say that Fernando Alonso wept inconsolably in the Ferrari garage for an hour and a half. The defeat – based on flawed strategic thinking as Ferrari kept an eye on Mark Webber and shadowed his pit stops instead of watching Vettel, and a lengthy spell trapped behind Vitaly Petrov's fleet Renault with no DRS to facilitate overtaking – cost Englishman Chris Dyer his job at Ferrari and tore out the Spaniard's heart.

Another defeat on a rainy Sunday afternoon in Brazil last weekend didn't have the same effect.

Alonso's stare was stony-eyed as he climbed from his Ferrari which he had dragged into second place thanks, in no small measure, to the unselfish and sporting behaviour of his underrated team-mate Felipe Massa. But far from breaking him, the defeat will make him even more dangerous in 2013.

Even though his car was generally second best to those of Red Bull and McLaren this year, Alonso said it had been his best in a Formula One career that began with Minardi in 2001. "The championship was not lost here," he said in Interlagos. "The championship was lost when Romain Grosjean flew over my head at Spa or when Vettel surprisingly only got a reprimand after qualifying in Japan."

"So, for sure, there you lose a couple of points. There were also some races that we have some strange decisions let's say, and some penalties, so maybe we lost also there. But that's the sport. Even though I finished second in the points I have never had such respect and the affection from everybody in the paddock.

"This is the first time that I have got drivers, ex-drivers, teams, fans to say that we have done the best championship. We'll be back as strong in 2013, because it would be harder to be stronger. I have a great feeling after 2012, by far the best year of my career."

He said the Brazilian race typified the problems he has had in qualifying all year, which often meant starting on his back foot and having to fight through.

"I think we didn't have the quickest car, as it has been obvious in all races, and it was a miracle that we were fighting for the championship here. And it was a miracle until the final lap, because thanks to the team's perfect work we have found ourselves in this position. And even though we lost the championship, we have to be proud to have finished second."

He also praised the contribution made, especially in the latter half of the year, by Massa. "For sure it was a very, very good second part of the year for him, with some podiums and some very good performances," Alonso said.

"If I found myself fighting for the World Championship at the last race it's also thanks to teamwork. There is a lot of tests that Felipe was doing in the simulator in the summer and there is the Friday practice where you can share the programme and you can trust the results.

"There's maximum trust, maximum confidence in Felipe's work every time in the races, in practice, in the simulator. We are a team. We are united. And in the last two, three races, there was also some help in the race itself in terms of positions gained, et cetera."

Far from weeping, he said he felt very satisfied. "I think it's a very good feeling what I have now. It was very frustrating maybe in Abu Dhabi two years ago because we have the title in our hands and we lost it. Here is completely the opposite. I'm so proud and I'm so happy to fight until the last lap with the package we have in our hands.

"That is the best thing for me, to feel proud of myself, it was by far the best season of my career and I will remember this 2012 like some dream season," Alonso added.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years - but he says it wasn’t all fun and games...
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Arts and Entertainment
Inner sanctum: Tove Jansson and friends in her studio in 1992
booksWhat was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Singer songwriter Bob Dylan performs on stage
films
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital