• Brazilian Grand Prix

'I gained respect' - Alonso

ESPN Staff
November 25, 2012 « Third title 'unbelievable' - Vettel | 'It couldn't have been more stressful' - Horner »
Fernando Alonso finished just three points behind Sebastian Vettel after his second place at Interlagos © Press Association

Fernando Alonso said he is "proud" of both himself and Ferrari and said he gained "so much respect from everybody" for taking the championship battle down to the final race.

Sebastian Vettel took his third consecutive championship with sixth place in Brazil as Alonso finished second. The result left Alonso just three points behind Vettel in the final standings, and he said that while he hadn't managed to achieve his aim of winning the title he and Ferrari had completed "20 races close to perfection" this season.

"I feel satisfied with the job, I feel proud of myself, proud of the team," Alonso said. "Obviously we lost the championship in terms of three points but I think I gained this year so much respect from everybody and I gained more other things apart from the points.

"It was a good season, it was 20 races close to perfection; we didn't make any big mistakes, the team was fantastic in all the strategy and all the decisions. We missed a little bit of performance but it was not because of the dedication of the team or work, it was just maybe because we lacked some ideas or something but at the end it was a good season for us. We enjoyed it, we fight until the end, we part our hearts, we put everything in to it and we have to feel proud."

Alonso admitted he was being kept up to date with Vettel's progress throughout the race but had his own luck to get the podium finish he needed.

"I was constantly informed about the position of Sebastian, but also after the first-lap problem we had to stay cool. It was very tricky conditions and our priority was to be on the podium because whatever happened to Sebastian if we were not on the podium we had no chance. So at that time it was difficult; the two McLarens and [Nico] Hulkenberg were very quick and we were fourth and we had to change some situations. Luckily the rain came and finally we finished second but obviously it was not enough because Sebastian out of the top eight was not normal."

While praising Ferrari for it's execution of the year, Alonso said it needed to improve the car for 2013.

"I still don't believe how we arrived at this point because obviously we had a car that was not performing very well in most parts of the season but we proved that with a car that is a little bit slower than the others we can win the championship. With a car that is the same as the others we probably would win the championship a few races from the end and with a car that is a lot slower than the others we fight until the last race, so we have to feel proud but we have to find some performance for next year."