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Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko believes Fernando Alonso was too focused on playing mind games during the 2012 Formula 1 campaign, claiming that the Spaniard used 'psychological skirmishes' in a bid to unsettle chief title rival Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel was crowned World Champion for a third successive year at the final race in Brazil, outscoring Alonso by three points. Reflecting upon the title run-in, Marko reckons the Ferrari driver 's comments displayed tension and stress.
"Alonso is constantly involved in politics," Marko said in Red Bull's in-house Red Bulletin magazine. "I believe we saw the stress he 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 design chief Adrian) Newey,' these psychological skirmishes. We said, 'Just ignore him.'"
Marko also heaped praise on Vettel for his performances throughout the year, explaining that the he 'shuts himself off from the rest of the world' to maximise his chances. After a mixed opening half to the season, which left Vettel 44 points behind Alonso, the German bounced back to win four races in a row and overturn the deficit.
"Sebastian's driving was virtually flawless," Marko added. "But he is a phenomenon: it is always like that. After the summer break, his performance curve shoots up. That's what happened in previous years, too. I don't know how he does it, but to keep doing it cannot be a coincidence.
"That brings us back to his method of preparation, the way he shuts himself off from the rest of the world, so that he can still call on reserves that other drivers might not have: Fernando Alonso, for example, who is busy with politics and funny comments.
"Vettel ignores it all, he doesn't read the newspapers, or the internet. And that's the point, we concentrate on our job: to make the fastest car and the best team possible."
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