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Vettel ignores Alonso politics - Marko

ESPN Staff
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Sebastian Vettel took his third consecutive championship in 2012 © Sutton Images

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel has the edge over Fernando Alonso because Alonso "is busy with politics and funny comments".

Alonso led the 2012 championship by 40 points going in to the summer break, but Vettel turned around the deficit in the second half of the season to win the title by three points. Speaking to the Red Bulletin, Marko said Vettel's improvement in form was due to his ability to shut off from the rest of the world and that Alonso's willingness to engage in politics had hampered his own chances.

"Sebastian's driving was virtually flawless," Marko said. "But he is a phenomenon: it is always like that. After the summer break, his performance curve shoots up. That's what happened in previous years, too. I don't know how he does it, but to keep doing it cannot be a coincidence. That brings us back to his method of preparation, the way he shuts himself off from the rest of the world, so that he can still call on reserves that other drivers might not have: Fernando Alonso, for example, who is busy with politics and funny comments. Vettel ignores it all, he doesn't read the newspapers, or the internet. And that's the point, you see, we concentrate on our job: to make the fastest car and the best team possible."

Marko added that Alonso's comments towards the end of the year were a sign of him cracking under pressure.

"Alonso is constantly involved in politics. I believe we saw the stress he was under towards the end of the season. Saying things like, "I'm competing against Hamilton, not Vettel," and "I'm up against Newey," these psychological skirmishes. We said, "Just ignore him.""