F1 fallout from 2012 season

Team principals from Ferrari and Red Bull debate a thrilling year of wheel-to-wheel racing

Fernando Alonso ponders chances missed on the podium at Interlagos.
Fernando Alonso ponders chances missed on the podium at Interlagos.DAVID EBENER (EFE)

While the on-track action may be over, there was still some off-the-track jostling in evidence after the checkered flag came down on the 2012 season at the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday, which saw Sebastian Vettel take his third championship win in as many years, and Fernando Alonso miss out on the title by just a couple of points.

The intensity of the tussle between the Spaniard's team, Ferrari, and the German's outfit, Red Bull, was clear for all to see on Monday, as both team principals expressed their views on the way the season went.

Christian Horner, the Red Bull boss, was quizzed about comments made in the aftermath of the Brazil race by his victorious driver, who said that "a lot of people tried to use dirty tricks, certain things that from our point of view were beyond the limit, and we never got irritated or distracted by that."

Vettel later refused to explain exactly what he was referring to, while Horner was equally circumspect. But he did admit that the team had been under a lot of pressure. "Formula 1 is a tough business and you're up against some tough opponents," Horner told the press. "The fastest way to become unpopular is to have repeated success. We've ignored what other teams are doing and have just focused on ourselves."

Meanwhile, Alonso made equally suggestive comments in the post-race press conference on Sunday, pointing out that his two retirements this year were due to crashes caused by other drivers, and suggesting that several stewards' rulings had gone against him. "There were also some races that we have some strange decisions let's say, and some penalties," the Spaniard said, apparently in reference to a decision in Japan to only reprimand Vettel for having apparently blocked Alonso during qualifying.

Stefano Domenicali, the team boss at Ferrari, was equally unwilling to get drawn into a war of words. "I see things from a different angle," he said. "For me it is clear we raced 18 races out of 20, and we were second by three points. That is hurting. Other things are not really interesting."

Despite having missed out on a championship title for Alonso at the last race of the season for the second time in three years, Domenicali paid tribute to his star driver. "I think he did the best season," he said. "He was always at the limit, not only from the technical point of view because you can expect this from a world champion like him, but also the way he was working with the team."

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