“You don't want to lose, but you still should know how to,” Vettel said of the protest, “You have to respect your opponent and recognise their good performances….”
For his part, Alonso insists that, while Ferrari was within its rights to question the result of the Brazilian race, Vettel was still a deserving champion.
"The decision to ask for an explanation on the yellow flag was almost mandatory out of respect for all the Ferrari fans who wanted clarification on the situation,” the Spaniard reasoned, “The FIA said that, at that moment, the green flag was out, so everything is relaxed. It was the right decision and the case is closed. Vettel is the rightful champion as he earned more points than anyone.”
Despite his near miss in the standings, the double champion continues to rate his season as one of his best, but admits that he would rather not have to fight quite so hard in 2013.
"I'm very happy with my season - it was a perfect year and will be difficult to repeat,” he confirmed, “However, 2013 should be even better.
“It will be impossible to begin worse than I did last season, although Red Bull will certainly be the favourites, at least at the beginning. They finished in dominating fashion and the rules will be more or less the same. In the final races, they had 6-8 tenths per lap over us.
“We'll have to make up that gap in two months. It won't be easy, so there will be a lot of work to do. There's always room for improvement and things that you can develop. With the experience and technology at our disposal, there are certain aspects that we can improve.
“[We want] to finish first and second every Saturday and Sunday. There were teams that managed [to do that] in recent years, like McLaren or Red Bull. Even Lotus got on the podium with [Romain] Grosjean and [Kimi] Raikkonen, but not us…. We'll have to work overtime in the winter, but the starting point should be far better compared to last season."