Alonso deserved the championship, says Domenicali

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali paid tribute to Fernando Alonso after he narrowly lost the drivers’ championship in Brazil.

“That’s sport and that’s how it goes,” said Domenicali. “To have lost the drivers’ title twice in the last three years by the tiniest of margins hurts, it hurts a lot, I can assure you of that.

“I am particularly disappointed for Fernando, who like never before, really deserved to win this time. He has been extraordinary, not just in the way he has driven, nor because he simply never gave up in the first very difficult part of the season, but mainly for the human qualities he demonstrated within the team.”

Domencali said Alonso’s two point-less races in Belgium and Japan cost him dearly: “Where did we lose those three points? Hard to say, but I just want to point out that Fernando ended where he
did having effectively only taken part in 18 of the 20 races. The few hundred metres he covered in Spa and then Suzuka lays heavy like a rock on today’s outcome.

“Sure, we cannot ignore the fact we were unable to give him and Felipe [Massa] a quicker car, especially at the start of the season: this also cost us dear and our main aim for 2013 should be precisely that of giving our drivers the equipment with which they can win immediately. We owe our drivers and we want to wipe out that debt as soon as possible.”

Domenicali praised Massa who gave up his second place to Alonso during the race: “I also want to thank Felipe for not letting go after a very difficult opening part to the year: he worked very hard and if today we have finished second in the constructors’ championship, we also owe it to him.

“We always stuck by him, even when the outside world was calling for us to sack him and we have given him confidence for 2013. I think his results in this final part of the season have been the right response to those who doubted him.

“At this moment, I also want to thank everyone who has worked day and night, at the track and at Maranello to try and help us realise our dream and I am proud of all of them.”

Domenicali added his praise for the Sebastian Vettel, who clinched his third world championship in Brazil: “Finally, I want to congratulate Sebastian, who is a great adversary. I think I can say we are leaving Brazil our heads held not just high, but very high.”

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said he was “proud” of his team. “We fought all the way to the bitter end, getting both our drivers onto the podium for the final race of the season.

“When you miss out on the title by the smallest of margins, naturally there is some regret. I want to congratulate Fernando on what he has done this year: his season has been simply fantastic.

“Felipe drove very well in the second half of the season and demonstrated once again that he is a real team player. I also want to thank Stefano Domenicali and all his colleagues for the work they have done, day after day, to produce a car that, in terms of reliability, was perfect and for what they achieved on track in terms of strategy and the work in the garage.

“Now we must immediately concentrate on next season, because, right from the start, we must have a car that is competitive at the highest level.”

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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66 comments on “Alonso deserved the championship, says Domenicali”

  1. Sadly not always the best driver of the season wins the title.

    1. @commendatore

      And he won’t for some time to come as I doubt Mercedes will provide him with a championship contending car.

      1. @f1fannl
        I fear so as well. Poor Rosberg…

      2. When is Vettal moving to Mercedes?

    2. Sadly not always no – except for the last three seasons :D

    3. Classically, I don’t like Alonso.

      But I think he put absolutely everything into it this year, and I think he really did deserve it.

      1. Never mind, since he got the 2006 title instead – I guess he can proudly say he is a deserving 2 times champion now.

    4. Vettel is 25, his body will grow stronger towards 28 and his mental will be more mature every and each year. Please don’t compare with declining 31 yo Alonso, prefer to watch for Hulkenberg or Perez.

      1. If anything, 2012 showed that Alonso is doing the complete opposite of declining.

        1. Feels to me like there is a great chance FA will come out of the gate much stronger next year… that I’m aware of the car won’t be a radical change over this year’s, so the steep part of the learning curve should be past them and FA should be in a very strong place next year.

        2. Everybody said the same thing about Valentino Rossi, whilst new younger talent keep coming.

  2. He did but so did Vettel in my mind. It just so happened the Red Bull driver came out on top!

    P.S – Ferrari, you could’ve helped Alonso by making working updates! Alonso deserved it but Ferrari didn’t.

    1. I don’t personally like Alonso, but I totaly agree with you. He did deserve the tittle, but Ferrari didn’t.

  3. Well, he would say that wouldn’t he

  4. The one who gathers most points over the course of the season deserves to win the championship.

    1. So if Karthikeyan won every race due to others retiring in every race due to meteors, hailstorms and whatever else, he would deserve the championship?

      1. As a fully qulaified survivor, yes he would.

    2. So Prost deserved the 1988 championship

      1. Only the best 11 results counted towards the championship at the time.
        Senna had the 11 best results which gave him the well deserved tittle. Whether Prost likes it or not, those were the rules and they were well aware of them at the start of the season.

        That wasn’t a nonsense rule created at the end of a race by the French FIA president to changed the final result. (if you know what I mean… coff coff, 1989)

  5. I think what sucks more is that Alonso probably has only 2 good years left in him before he starts becoming like Webber and at this rate Ferrari don’t look like they’ll produce cars that can consistently perform on every circuit.

    There’s always next year though and I think both Fernando and Ferrari will be even more determined to get both championships.

    1. I don’t know about that – Schumacher was six years older in 2006 when he was still fighting for the championship and he’d probably had a couple of more competitive years left had he stayed in the sport.

    2. @davef1 The concern for Alonso next year is the regain of form from Massa … If he begin next season as he finishes this one, Alonso could receive the message “Felipe is faster than you” even if I’m not sure this will ever be the case.

      1. Every year people say that about Massa at some point of the year…

        1. probably as every year he starts poorly and finishes strongly … He loves having longer holidays than other drivers

      2. @jeanrien . Massa coming to form helps Fernando more than it concerns him. If Felipe had this form during the entire year we would have seen him take a decent haul of points away from Vettel.. and Fernando would have had a much better chance going into the final part of the season

        1. @todfod Always a difficult call about point redistribution, won’t enter on that …
          And indeed for the end of this season Massa helped Alonso a lot, wouldn’t have gone until Brazil if he wasn’t that much of a great team mate for Alonso.

    3. I see no reason whatsoever to equate FA as ever becoming a Webber, nor do I see any reason to think Ferrari can no longer produce a winner. Given what FA did with what everybody was calling a ‘dog’ at the start of the season, Ferrari saying they just needed time with the car, I think it is highly likely that Ferrari may start off the season with the car to beat, or at least a car that won’t be considered a dog from the outset of 2013.

  6. There we go again…what’s with Ferrari trash talk…? RBR did not deserve it?
    Cry babies…sore losers…

    1. They didn’t say RBR didint deserve it. Domenicali admitted Ferrari didn’t do a good job, implying RBR did. Ferrari never questioned their WCC, what they are saying is that Alonso deserved WDC more than Vettel.

      1. There we go again…what’s with Ferrari trash talk…?

        You mean Vettel complaining about the dirty tricks of the rivals? Yeah right.

  7. Alonso 2012 was really really good. Schumacher 1997 was much better, though. Just saying.

    1. And 1998 too if I may add.

      1. Based on what?

  8. ‘Where did we lose those three points? Hard to say, but I just want to point out that Fernando ended where he
    did having effectively only taken part in 18 of the 20 races. The few hundred metres he covered in Spa and then Suzuka lays heavy like a rock on today’s outcome.’
    *Sigh* I realise Domenicali is heavily biased, but it would be foolish to pin it all on these incidents. Or are we simply to forget that Vettel has also had his fair share of failures this season, such as the alternator issues?
    I wanted Alonso to win quite badly, but he simply didn’t. He’s drove a superb season in a car that was fairly average in the first half of the season. Domenicali’s comments, to me, just seem like a radical attempt at deflecting the blame from the sub-par car to others such as Grosjean.

  9. But Ferrari didn’t deserve it and as even the drivers titel is a combination of team and driver it was the right combination there won.

  10. Hard to say, but I just want to point out that Fernando ended where he
    did having effectively only taken part in 18 of the 20 races. The few hundred metres he covered in Spa and then Suzuka lays heavy like a rock on today’s outcome.

    And I’m sure the Valencia Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix had no influence whatsoever. Sure Stefano…

    1. Funny you’d mention Italy actually. Alonso would probably have won that if it wasn’t for his anti-roll bar failure in qualifying.

  11. Alonso deserved this championship.

    But Vettel also deserved this championship too.

    1. Hamilton deserved it more. 75 points lost in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona and Singapore. And after you factor in the points that Vettel and Alonso gained from these three races as a result, Hamilton would have been right in the thick of things, eventually coming out on top (see 2008)

      1. Hamilton didn’t lose the entire 25 points in Barcelona. He recovered to 6th or 7th I think. But I do agree that Hamilton was on par with Alonso this season.. and maybe a little ahead on Vettel

      2. But then you have to add back the points that Alonso and Vettel also lost… and subtract then from Hamilton and others.

  12. What came of all of that zen-like crap Alonso was coming up with – that he was 100% certain of winning the title and that Ferrari were the better team?

    1. He came up with amazing performances and lost the Championship in the third fastest car by only 3 points. Thats what.

      If you have to ask me, I’d take Alonso’s zen tweets over the finger of Vettel or the gangsta of Lewis any day. At least I can just unsubscribe from his tweets. The finger and gangsta you cant escape.

      1. @infy gangsta? Thats ridiculous.

        1. I know, It’s really silly too. Hamilton should stop it :D

          I agree with @infy, Alonso did an amazing job, in fact, the whole team did.

      2. Where do you put sour grapes in your ranking? It’s pretty poor manners for Alonso and Dominicali to start in about Vettel’s non-penalty in Suzuka now, the day Vettel has won his title, from like half a dozen races ago. Actually it’s kind of bizarre. And they effectively only raced in 18 of the races? What a hoot. What would Vettel and Hamilton have to say using this analysis. Stay classy Ferrari.

  13. Alonso is an amaizing driver, but he has also had a lot of luck lately to be able to stay in the fight. Massa’s form of late has however shown that it was perhaps not Alonso being able to drive the Ferrari above its capability, but more that the Ferrari is better in the race than in Qualifying, and with the DRS zone it becomes possible to work your way up to the podium. Vettel has also had his share of bad luck, and an italian produced alternator – but both of them (and several drivers with them) show an admirable ability to get up again and score points against all odds. Next time I’m about to quit and give up, I’ll remind myself of the F1 pilot spirit – never give up, get back on the track and keep going until the checkered flag.

  14. “I am particularly disappointed for Fernando, who like never before, really deserved to win this time.”

    So Alonso didn’t deserve to win the first two titles?

    1. Because of Renault’s illegal mass damper? But, that will add 1 WCT to Ferrari and 1 WDT to Schumi.
      As a current Tifoso, and a former M.Schumacher’s fan, I could live with that. :)

  15. Ridiculous. Alonso didn’t deserve the championship; he competed for it admirably and came in second. There were no extenuating circumstances, for Alonso and Ferrari, which compel us to judge his season on what was deserved over what was delivered.

    If anyone deserved the championship this year, it would be Hamilton. How many times did we watch him take that long walk back to the paddock after leading the race?

    1. +1,000,000,000,001

    2. Sorry if Hamilton is so unlucky then he is not deserving. World Champions are never unlucky; Losers are!

  16. I don’t get why people get fired up by Domenicalli’s statement.

    1. He said the following, and I quote:

    I am particularly disappointed for Fernando, who like never before, really deserved to win this time.


    I am particularly disappointed for Fernando, who like never before, is the only one who really deserved to win this time.

    2. I find this a far less offensive statement than Vettel’s “dirty tricks” one.

    3. He’s not wrong. Alonso, indeed, deserved this championship and maybe so did Raikkonen and Hamilton, but unfortunately for them…not everyone drives a Red Bull.

    1. Haha, and I was starting to think it was me who was crazy.

      Of course he thinks Alonso should have won it, Alonso is his driver.

    2. +10000000

  17. As much as I wanted Alonso to win…there is never such a thing as “deserving” to win. If you deserve it, you will win it, especially over the course of a long season as we have just had. Red Bull were the better TEAM, period. It does not if Alonso was the better driver, Red Bull pulled out all the stops, making the best team. Numbers dont lie, which is why Red Bull have won the constructors 3 times on the trot. Well done to them.

    I think driver of the year should probably go to Alonso. He made the least mistakes and was the most consistent. I am intrigued as to how some of you are suggesting that Alonso had made the car out to be a lot worse than it is, but how will we know for sure that whenever he said he has taken “the maximum” out of the car, he was actually telling the truth? I guess we will never know. Most people in the paddock reckoned that Alonso was wringing every ounce out of the car, but then again, what do they know? Maybe they’re just overpaid Perhaps using Massa’s recent performances as a yardstick maybe a bit flawed. It is not secret that Alonso’s car has been carrying all the new botched updates, and Ferrari, by their own admittance were struggling to find the right balance. Having said this, if Massa’s older spec parts were showing better pace over the last few tracks, I wonder why they didnt revert Alonso to the older setup? Were the updates too significant that they couldnt revert?

    Whatever the case, whatever the opinion, Ferrari were not good enough. You cant start a season with a car more than a second off the pace if you want to win championships. They rode their luck and benefited from stellar drives from Alonso. I have my doubts about next year as well, we may be looking at 4 times world champion Vettel this time next year. Ferrari need to pick up their game.

    1. @jaymenon10

      Perhaps using Massa’s recent performances as a yardstick maybe a bit flawed. It is not secret that Alonso’s car has been carrying all the new botched updates

      I find it hard to believe that Alonso would choose to use new parts which don’t offer a performance advantage. He decided against running the high-downforce Singapore rear wing that didn’t work.

      1. @keithcollantine

        Keith, you are right, he would not have chosen something that doesnt work….the reason I was asking is because I still cant understand how all of a sudden, he was slower than Massa when all year Alonso had basically taken him to the cleaners. The only commonality I could find were the updates..was just wondering if it was possible for Alonso’s car to have been significantly changed to a point where they couldnt go back to the original setup? I dont know..thats why Im asking.

  18. Alonso dragged everything out of that Ferrari all season long. Grosjean cost him the title.

  19. It’s too late to say that Domenicalli……. Time for you to step down. Just throw the towel and let suitable candidates to take your hot seat. You’ve failed the tifosi……. If I were you, I will go somewhere else…… before someone shoot at me. There’s a lot of love out there…you know man.

  20. Ferrari have such high expectations. Second in the WCC and the WCC is not that bad – particulalrly against a team/designer combination like Red Bull and Newey.
    I wonder if we will now see some end-of-season personnel changes at Ferrari. Someone’s head could well roll if only to ‘encourage the others’.

    1. @timothykatz I don’t think that philosophy works. It’s a respected train of thought that much of F1’s aerodynamic prowess hails from the UK so unless Ferrari are willing to move to motorsport valley I think they may struggle for another year.

  21. Good words from both guys here and they’re right about Massa, definitely. He has been a pleasure to watch this second half of the season.

    I don’t think they can dwell too much on Spa and Suzuka as for every DNF you suffer, your competitor tends to have one too as demonstrated by Valencia for Vettel. Swings and roundabouts.

  22. Why is there all this talk about who “deserved” it? It’s sports, it’s life, deserving something doesn’t get it for you. The season’s over, everyone should be looking forward to 2013 instead of harping on what 2012 could have been. It was a great season and the focus should be on that, not one which of the 24 drivers deserved better than where they ended.

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