sport

Vettel slams 'dirty tricks'

Sebastian Vettel has claimed that Red Bull had to contend with "dirty tricks" during the course of the title battle.

The German driver ultimately clinched his third successive Drivers' title from Fernando Alonso by a mere three points after enduring a roller-coaster of a Brazilian GP on Sunday in which more than once the title appeared to have slipped out of his grasp.

After the race a clearly relieved Vettel told Sky Sports F1 that "on track, off track, I think for me it was the toughest season" and later in further TV interviews he appeared to elaborate on those thoughts still further.

"A lot of people tried to play dirty tricks but we did not get distracted by that and kept going our way and all the guys gave a big push right to the end," he told TV reporters.

Although the 25-year-old didn't specify either what or whom he had been unhappy with, in a later interview with journalists he suggested unspecified "people" resorted to tactics Red Bull would never contemplate themselves.

"We remained ourselves throughout the whole year, even though people did some things that we would never consider to do, trying to achieve our targets," he told journalists. "But it's not in our hands, and it's not our job to rate and to comment so much. We have to make sure we do our own homework."

Initial speculation suggested Vettel's ire may have been directed at the strong speculation earlier in the season that he had agreed to join Ferrari for 2014, or the Italian team's decision to deliberately invoke a gearbox penalty on Felipe Massa's car at the penultimate round in Austin to aid Fernando Alonso's title bid.

Red Bull were also at the centre of several technical controversies earlier in the season in which clarifications of regulations forced them to change aspects of their cars on more than one occasion.

But asked directly by journalists what exactly he had been referring to, Vettel insisted he wouldn't be getting into a deeper discussion, as Red Bull had tried to ignore any form of attempted destabilisation all season.

"Sorry, but I think I mentioned everything I have to mention," the 25-year-old replied. "I think it's clear but it's not for us to rate. I said as well in the same sentence, but obviously you don't pass it on, as usual, it's not for us to rate or comment on that, because it's not our decision, it's not in our hands.

"We have to focus on what we have, what is in our hands and getting excited about what others are doing - what's the point?"