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Stefano Domenicali believes Fernando Alonso deserved to win the Formula 1 world championsip 'like never before' in 2012, having missed out to Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel by just three points in Sunday's dramatic season finale at Interlagos.
Domenicali hailed his driver's performances as 'extraordinary' throughout the year, both in terms of outright speed and an undeterred will to claim a third title.
"That’s sport and that’s how it goes," Domenicali explained after the race. "To have lost the Drivers’ title twice in the last three years by the tiniest of margins hurts, it hurts a lot, I can assure you of that. I am particularly disappointed for Fernando, who like never before, really deserved to win this time.
"He has been extraordinary, not just in the way he has driven, nor because he simply never gave up in the first very difficult part of the season, but mainly for the human qualities he demonstrated within the team.
In terms of the ultimate winning margin, Domenicali cited two costly retirements and the F2012's lack of pace in the early phase of the season as the reason for Vettel claiming the title.
"Where did we lose those three points? Hard to say, but I just want to point out that Fernando ended where he did, having effectively only taken part in 18 of the 20 races," Domenicali said of the situation. "The few hundred metres he covered at Spa-Francorchamps and then Suzuka lays heavy like a rock on today’s outcome.
"Sure, we cannot ignore the fact we were unable to give him and Felipe a quicker car, especially at the start of the season: this also cost us dear and our main aim for 2013 should be of giving our drivers the equipment with which they can win immediately."
Domenicali also thanked his Ferrari staff for their efforts, before congratulating Sebastian Vettel on becoming the youngest ever triple World Champion.
"At this moment, I also want to thank everyone who has worked day and night, at the track and at Maranello to try and help us realise our dream and I am proud of all of them," he added. "Finally, I want to congratulate Sebastian, who is a great adversary. I think I can say we are leaving Brazil with our heads held not just high, but very high!"
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|4.||M. Webber||Red Bull||+4.936|
|5.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||+5.708|
|6.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||+9.453|
|8.||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||+28.653|
|10.||K. Raikkonen||Lotus||+1 Lap|
|19 May||Video of the Day: LEGO Ferrari Formula 1 car|
|17 May||Ferrari also criticises Pirelli tyre changes|
|15 May||Ferrari can do more, says Domenicali|
|2012 Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|30 Nov '12||Ecclestone: Yellow flag situation a joke|
|29 Nov '12||'Vettel pass was legal' - FIA's Whiting insists|
|29 Nov '12||Ferrari asks FIA to clarify Vettel overtake|
|13 May||Domenicali: Team didn't put a foot wrong|
|16 Apr||Domenicali not getting carried away|
|20 Mar||Ferrari looking to build on 'positive' start|
|15 May||Video of the Day: Alonso, Webber on careers|
|13 May||Alonso: Mercedes favourites for Monaco|
|12 May||Video: On-board start with winner Alonso|
|21 May||Monaco memories: Senna vs Mansell, 1992|
|21 May||Lowe adds to strength in depth, says Brawn|
|20 May||Photos: Schumacher drives the Nordschleife|