Clearly, the media who do their job and usually enjoy these verbal skirmishes, made the most of the situation, repackaging some of these now classic questions for Fernando.
“I did not say that Vettel was not the strongest or that he did not deserve his three titles,” continued Fernando. “There have been periods, like in 2011, when his performance level was fantastic and he was definitely the best. As of today, it’s impossible to say who will be our strongest rivals in 2013. Who will have the best car, who will have done the best job of preparation and had the best development, who will be the luckiest: there are so many factors which go to make the strongest combination of driver and team.
”On the technical front, I think that this year, the key will again be the management of the exhausts,” said Fernando, on the topic of 2013. “It’s true it’s not as important as two years ago, but we saw last year that it still played a significant role and that everyone worked on it a great deal. The tyres are not as critical, unless there is a specific problem, as for example we had with the hardest compound in 2011: they are the same for all the teams and, if they are within the mean point, they won’t make the difference, neither for the better nor for the worse.”
A twenty race season is very long for everyone, as Fernando Alonso pointed out today. “Last year we had the last Grand Prix at the end of November and almost right up to Christmas, there were events I had to take part in. There’s almost only the end of year holiday when one can have a break and I’ll try to fit in a few more days between now and Melbourne to recharge my batteries. Twenty races is a lot and it’s not easy to maintain a maximum performance level, both physical and mental, for the whole year. Maybe it would be better to have one or two fewer races and a few more test sessions.”