Alonso deserved the championship, says Domenicali

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2012Ferrari 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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66 comments on Alonso deserved the championship, says Domenicali

  1. 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.

  2. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 26th November 2012, 2:13

    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.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2012, 8:19


      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.

      • Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 26th November 2012, 8:27


        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.

  3. Denis 68 said on 26th November 2012, 2:54

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

  4. harry harris said on 26th November 2012, 6:37

    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.

  5. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 26th November 2012, 9:32

    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’.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 26th November 2012, 21:29

      @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.

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 26th November 2012, 21:26

    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.

  7. Logan (@iheartf1) said on 27th November 2012, 6:13

    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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