Alonso hails career-best season

Ferrari star misses out on title by three points but claims he has won ‘respect’

Despite losing out to Sebastian Vettel in the battle for the Formula One drivers’ title Fernando Alonso has hailed 2012 as the best season of his career.

Obviously we didn’t achieve the points to win the title but I won so many things this year, so much respect.
Fernando Alonso

The two-time champion, who last won the title in 2006, did what was required of him in the championship showdown at Interlagos. Trailing Vettel by 13 points going into the race he needed a podium finish to have any chance of taking the crown and Alonso delivered in style powering to second place.

Vettel, though, recovered from an early collision to climb to sixth, handing enough points to eclipse the Ferrari driver by just three points. Despite the defeat Alonso admitted he was proud of his season. “I’m very satisfied. I think it’s very good feeling what I have now,” he said.

The Spaniard went on to say that he was happier with his loss this year than in 2010 when Vettel again beat to the title by a narrow margin at the final race.

“Two years ago in Abu Dhabi it was very frustrating, because we had it in our hands and we lost it,” he said. “Here is completely the opposite. I’m so proud and I’m so happy to fight until the last lap with the package we have in hands.

“That is the best thing for me, to feel proud of myself, it was by far the best season of my career and I will remember this 2012 like some dream season,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t achieve the points to win the title but I won so many things this year: so much respect from everybody.

“Last year was very good, I was very proud of the season, how we approach races, how we improve mistakes we done in 2010 but this 2012, as I said, apart from the competitiveness of the car, if I repeat the 20 races, it would be difficult to do anything different of what we did because everything was so good for me.”