Fernando Alonso says it was a 'miracle' he challenged for title
Last updated on .From the section Formula 1
Fernando Alonso says his ability to battle for this year's drivers' title with Ferrari has been a "miracle".
The Spaniard lost out to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel by three points, despite having a car that failed to take pole position in the dry.
Alonso said he believed his performance during the season had raised his stock among Formula 1 fans.
"It was a miracle to see, race after race, what we managed to achieve," he added.
"I drove the best season of my life and now I can only think of the year to come.
"Before, people had a more or less good opinion of me, but now I notice a whole different level of respect.
"To be one of the greats of Formula 1, it's not enough to win titles; you must also tackle seasons like the one that has just ended."
That last remark will be interpreted by some as a subtle dig at German Vettel, who this year became only the third driver in history to win three consecutive titles but who has spent the vast majority of his short career in competitive cars.
Alonso, 31, also commented on Ferrari's decision last week to ask for a clarification on whether Vettel had completed an illegal overtaking move during the title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix.
Videos appeared on the internet in the days immediately after the race that appeared to show the German passing a Toro Rosso in a yellow caution zone, where overtaking is forbidden - the penalty for which could have dropped Vettel back two places and made Alonso champion.
Governing body the FIA said the incident was not investigated during the race because Vettel had started the move after passing a green flag, indicating the end of the yellow zone, which was not easily visible on in-car footage from his car.
A graphics-free video proved this was the case.
Alonso said: "There were a lot of video clips on the internet and we knew our fans were asking for an explanation, so it was right for Ferrari to turn to the federation for clarification.
"We got a reply and I think everything has now calmed down.
"Frankly, I'm not that interested in what the opinion is of me in Germany or elsewhere. What I know is that people who see me in the streets hug me and call me gladiator or samurai."
Let's face it, the Ferrari improved so dramatically over the season because Massa was basically a test driver.
I think its the opposite - he's just saying thanks to his fans and those within the sport who have acknowledged his strong season, irrespective of (or despite) where the title ended up.....
Seems fair enough to me.
When it comes to a team that does everything for just one driver, Alonso has no equal.
Renault deliberately crashing a car for Alonso's benefit
Ferrari using team orders when it was banned
Breaking Massa's gearbox to promote Alonso
The list just goes on. The only team that never gave him that status was McLaren. Boy did he throw his toys out of the pram for that
Newey gets far too much praise for RedBulls success. Rob Marshall is their chief designer, and it wasn't until Peter Prodromou took over the aerodynamics that they got to the forefront in that field. No coincidence that McLaren suffered when he left.
Newey is good but not the god some make him out to be.
This doesn't detract from Vettel's title, though. He can only drive the car he has, and he did it very well!
Saying that you make you own luck in F1 is a bit like saying you make your own car.
It's a decent soundbite, but it doesn't actually stand up to the scrutiny of logic.
Roberto Gomez Bolanos
Forza and multiply
... ist this you, Fernando Alonso Diaz?
"We must respect the elderly, especially when they can no longer control their words."
Not down wiv the misuse of the acronym "LOL", but that genuinely did crease me...
No surprise the Ferrari is quicker then a RedBull on a straight.
Adrian Newey is any case a great designer but also before 2010 with Seb he last won a WC in 1999.
A car is more then the designer also in the last 2 years with tyres playing in a lot of races
the bigger role compared to Aerodynamics
Lewis outqualifies Jenson 16-2, with 8 poles in 1 year to 1 pole in 3 yrs
Lewis has 6 DNFs to JB's 2 DNFs and still finishes above him.
Yet somehow - JB gets voted British Driver of the Year??? LOL
Winning such titles is as much what goes on outside the car as in it. As a personality LH has had some bad episodes in and out of the car that did little to make people warm to him
I wonder what "streets" he is talking about?. They wouldn't be in Spain or Italy by any chance.
One thing everyone can say about Alonso is he isn't very gracious in defeat