sport

Ferrari: Alonso deserved title

Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali believes Fernando Alonso, rather than eventual title winner Sebastian Vettel, was the driver who most deserved to become World Champion this year.

After a season of battling against the odds in generally inferior machinery compared with the Red Bull and McLaren in particular, Alonso ultimately came up just four points short (owing to Vettel's superior win tally) of ending his six-year wait for his third world championship title at Interlagos on Sunday.

Afterwards Alonso described his own campaign, in which he finished on the podium 13 times in 20 races, as his greatest ever, while rating Ferrari's performance as a whole given what they had to work with as a "ten".

His team boss was equally complimentary towards the driver and pointed to the two races where Alonso was involved in collisions at the first corner, Belgium and Japan, where the title was ultimately lost.

"We are proud of him," Domenicali told reporters. "We are very disappointed because I think that the one who deserved the championship was really him.

"It's a shame because after such a long season that we really fight in all conditions, we raced in 18 races not 20 - and being second by three points for that is a lot.

"But that's the way it is."

Reiterating the point later on, Domenicali added: "Once again I watch the facts. Zero points in two races, so we have done what we have done with 18 races. The others have had 20. These are facts not words."

The Ferrari chief agreed with Alonso's assessment that the season had been the 31-year-old's best in F1 to date but said the team would try to make sure that, after two final race heartbreaks in the Spaniard's three seasons at the team, they turned the situation round in 2013.

"I said before this grand prix that in my view Fernando did his best season," he said.

"Always on the limit, not only from the technical point of view because this is something that you expect from a World Champion like him, but also from the way that he was working with the team, always with the team.

"For me this is something that we have the privilege to have and unfortunately in the last three years we've lost two times in the last race and we need to make sure when we start next year we arrive at the last race to win."