Lauda: Alonso can recover from defeat
28 November 2012 – Triple Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda has backed Fernando Alonso to bounce back from missing out on the 2012 Drivers' crown, explaining that the Spaniard 'will always' be a front runner. Despite a large car performance deficit at the start of the season, the Ferrari driver remained in contention until the final race.
"If you have the experience and the speed of Alonso you will always be up there," Lauda said in an interview with the official Formula 1 website. "He will be strong again next year again. If he can do it once, why shouldn’t he be able to do it again?
"He knows how to do it. He knows how to get better every year and you need to get better every year."
When asked to pick the driver he believes is setting the modern-day standard in F1, Lauda admitted that Vettel's latest title win gives him a slight edge over his closest rivals, with the Red Bull driver having to fight back through the field in Brazil.
"It’s a simple one, it’s the one who won the championship, Vettel," he added, "And he did it with all the odds running against him. What he showed on Sunday in Brazil was the sheer will to succeed. If you cave at such a moment you are not the right stuff. But I also believe that Alonso is the most gifted racer under difficult circumstances."
Vettel's title-winning margin over Alonso stood at just three points after the season finale, with the German becoming the sport's youngest ever triple World Champion.