Alonso 'busy with politics' while Vettel shut off

© F1 Pulse, 9 January 2013
© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

Red Bull says that one of the reasons for Sebastian Vettel’s success is credited to the German driver steering away from controversy while his chief rival was embroiled in polemics.

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, said that Vettel shut himself off “so that he can still call on reserves that other drivers might not have”.

The youngest-ever Formula 1 triple champion claimed his third successive title, closing a margin of just over 40 points mid-season last year to Fernando Alonso, by winning four back-to-back races in the latter half of the campaign.

Marko claimed that Alonso, who drove an inferior car all season last year, meanwhile was "busy with politics and funny comments".

"I believe we saw the stress he (Alonso) was under towards the end of the season. Saying things like, 'I'm competing against (Lewis) Hamilton, not Vettel,' and 'I'm up against (Red Bull designer Adrian) Newey'," Marko told the Red Bulletin magazine. "These psychological skirmishes - we said: 'Just ignore him."

In addition, the Austrian also pointed out that Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber has been unable to maintain his form throughout the year citing that the Australian driver “has on average two races per year where he is unbeatable”.

Webber won two Grands Prix in 2012 - both recorded in a span of four races mid-season – and consequently emerged as a title contender at the time. But in the last eight races the 36-year-old driver accumulated just 47 points while Vettel scored 141 in those outings.

"As soon as his prospects start to look good in the world championship, he has a little trouble with the pressure that this creates. In comparison with Seb's rising form, it seems to me that Mark's form somehow flattens out,” Marko pointed out.

"Then, if some technical mishap occurs... he falls relatively easily into a downward spiral," he added.

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Quotes credit: Reuters

 

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