Skip to main content

All the pressure on Vettel claims Alonso ahead of F1 title decider

November 22, 2012 -- Updated 1912 GMT (0312 HKT)
Sebastian Vettel (left) will be looking to hold off Fernando Alonso in the final race of the 2012 season.
Sebastian Vettel (left) will be looking to hold off Fernando Alonso in the final race of the 2012 season.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • F1 world title to be decided in Brazil GP this weekend
  • Sebastian Vettel leads Fernando Alonso by 13 points going into race at Interlagos
  • Vettel bidding for third straight title in his Red Bull
  • Ferrari's Alonso is a two-time former champion

(CNN) -- Fernando Alonso believes all the pressure is on Sebastian Vettel as the title rivals head into their F1 championship decider in Brazil this weekend.

Alonso trails the reigning two-time champion by just 13 points going into Sunday's final grand prix of the season at Interlagos but has tried to play down his own chances.

"The first priority is to be on the podium, which gives us a possibility to score more than 13 points and then we need to wait for the result from Red Bull," he told Thursday's official press conference.

"It is not in our hands, we have not much to lose -- the only possibility is to win something. If he (Vettel) wins, fine. We try again next year.

"There is always pressure but we have less than other occasions and less than leading the championship. We have nothing to lose," added the Ferrari ace.

CNN Greatest F1 Driver: Day One
F1 champ Sebastian Vettel talks to CNN

Red Bull's Vettel admitted that the pressure of expectation of an historic third straight title was real.

"It's obviously normal if you are in that position," he admitted.

"We are in a strong position, we can be happy with that, but we have to focus on every single step to get the job done here," added the 25-year-old German, who would be the youngest driver to achieve a hat-trick of world championships.

Alonso said it was unlikely that his Ferrari would challenge the Red Bulls or McLaren in qualifying where he has been consistently off the pace.

Read: Brazil suits Red Bulls says Vettel

"There is no magic that you can put in the car in five days. We were seventh in Abu Dhabi (qualifying), ninth in Austin, so those positions should be normal but hopefully we can do a better job."

Alonso battled through in Austin to finish an eventual third at the U.S. Grand Prix last Sunday to keep his title hopes alive behind winner Lewis Hamilton and second-placed Vettel.

The Spaniard was helped by Ferrari's decision to enforce a gear box change on teammate Felipe Massa's car, dropping the Brazilian five places on the grid and moving Alonso up to a more favorable position at the start.

Vettel, who could have clinched the title at the Circuit of Americas, said he was untroubled by the controversy surrounding the move.

"What they do is not in our hands. I didn't follow up whether Felipe had real trouble with the gearbox or not, but it is not our job to focus on these things," he said.

"It is a different approach compared to our team. That is how life is, everyone handles certain situation in a different way."

Hamilton is racing in his final grand prix for McLaren after a big-money switch to Mercedes and is desperate to sign off with a win.

"It's going to be a tough one, but we will try to push as hard as we can, as we did in the last race, to try to win. I've never won here before," he said.

The race also brings down the curtain on the F1 career of former seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, who is quitting for the second time after his largely fruitless return with Mercedes.

"I'm quite happy to finish here and go for a different life," he admitted.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1210 GMT (2010 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
ADVERTISEMENT