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Vettel- 'Alonso's one of the best'

ESPN Staff
November 27, 2012 « McLaren weaker without Hamilton - Horner | Newey is Red Bull's 'beacon' - Webber »
Sebastian Vettel: "I respect [Alonso] as a driver for the fact that he's fighting and he's one of the best drivers we have in Formula One" © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel says he respects Fernando Alonso "for the fact that he's fighting" right to the end of the championship.

Alonso's second place in Brazil was not enough to take the title as Vettel won the championship by three points as a result of his sixth place finish. When asked if he had any pity for Alonso having come so close, Vettel said he only had respect for his opponent but was focusing on his own achievements.

"I respect him as a driver for the fact that he's fighting and he's one of the best drivers we have in Formula One," Vettel said. "But obviously you look after yourself and we were fighting as well. I don't want to put it in perspective who was fighting more or harder; that's not the point, it's a long season, there's a lot of races and in the end the guy who has the most points wins the championship. Of course I'm very happy that it was us and not him."

Vettel also said that he felt he had handled the pressure well this season when things didn't appear to be going his or Red Bull's way or the team was taking criticism.

"If there wouldn't be attention then you would not be here and I wouldn't be in such a big building with so many people working for the same team, so of course there's an element of pressure in that regard. On top of that it's always getting more and more tense at the end of a year in the last couple of races, depending on who you fight in order to try to win the championship and certain things that may just be a little bit of rumours going around, other things that might get said and other things that might happen eye-to-eye without you having to mention anything or other people having to mention anything.

"It's not easy to stay focused in that regard. It's very, very hard but I think at least for me I always try to go step-by-step. I said Sunday after the race the hardest thing is to win after you have won - so winning after winning - because you get the attention and the pressure and you are very likely to focus on winning again rather than focus on the small steps that it takes to win in the first place. We won the championship last year after 2010 and won it this year again, so I don't want to praise ourselves but I think we have done a couple of things right."

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