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Fernando Alonso refuses to blame strategy error

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso refused to blame his Ferrari team for the strategic decision that may have handed the drivers' world championship to Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari chose to shadow an early pitstop by Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, a move which left him stuck behind Renault's Vitaly Petrov.

"It's very easy to see the best strategy after the race," said Alonso.

"But this is sport, this is motor racing. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."

Alonso, who led the drivers' championship by eight points coming into the last race of the season, could only finish seventh after being unable to pass Petrov, a result which meant he finished four points behind Vettel in the final standings.

Fernando Alonso

Alonso frustrated as title slips away

The Spaniard told the BBC: "It was obviously a tough race, a difficult race.

"I lost a position at the start [to Jenson Button] and then when the first safety car came out, Petrov and [Nico] Rosberg came in so... we saw some problems with the soft tyres, Webber pitted and then we tried to cover from him.

"When you cover someone, probably you give something away to the others. So it was then a choice between covering Vettel or [racing] Petrov and Rosberg, so we covered Webber and then it was difficult to overtake Petrov.

"The Renault is very quick on the top speed, so it was a frustrating race behind him.

ANDREW BENSON'S BLOG

"If we didn't stop I think Webber probably would have overtaken us, if we stopped we cover from Webber but let Petrov and Rosberg in front so it was a very difficult call I think.

"Congratulations to Red Bull and Sebastian but next year we will try again."

Alonso appeared to gesture angrily at the Russian after passing the chequered flag.

But asked whether he felt Petrov was in some way to blame, Alonso replied: "I tried to pass him once and he protected like it was the last lap, in the last race in the championship, fighting both for the championship, so he was very aggressive.

Vitaly Petrov

Petrov defends 'fighting' drive

"But he drove very well, he made no mistakes. I think next year we will try again."

Rob Smedley, race engineer to Alonso's Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, who finished 10th, acknowledged the team had not been on top form.

"We didn't do the best job today, but we haven't had the best car all year, that's very clear," said Smedley.

"If you have a car that's five, six, seven kilometres per hour faster than you in the straight, there's nothing you can do about it.

"We had to take a bit of a risk. We did and it didn't pay off."

Rob Smedley

Smedley defends Ferrari tactics

Alonso, a two-time world champion, moved to Ferrari from Renault after last season and insisted he was pleased with his first campaign with the Scuderia.

"For me, coming back to winning races and fighting for the championship in the last race was very good," he said after the end of a season which saw him claim five race wins.

"I overtook Niki Lauda, Juan Fangio in race wins, big names in Formula 1, and for me this is something amazing.

"I'm sure that with this team it is very possible to fight for championships in the future. So I am very happy."



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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:34 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 germany S Vettel 1:39:36.837
2 great britain L Hamilton 1:39:46.999
3 great britain J Button 1:39:47.884
4 germany N Rosberg 1:40:07.584
5 poland R Kubica 1:40:15.863
6 russian federation V Petrov 1:40:20.357
7 spain F Alonso 1:40:20.634
8 australia M Webber 1:40:21.080
9 spain J Alguersuari 1:40:27.038
10 brazil F Massa 1:40:27.705


see also
Vettel win seals maiden F1 title
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Webber downbeat as title bid ends
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton targets McLaren comeback
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Abu Dhabi GP as it happened
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix photos
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel storms to Abu Dhabi pole
13 Nov 10 |  Formula 1


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