October 24, 2013 / 4:38 PM / 5 years ago

Alonso goes to bed 'proud' even in 'Vettel era'

GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) - Fernando Alonso may have conceded the Formula One world title but the Ferrari driver is not losing any sleep over Sebastian Vettel’s domination on the track.

Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso (front) of Spain signs autographs for fans at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi October 24, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

Red Bull’s Vettel is on the cusp of his fourth successive world title and second-placed Alonso, who trails the German by 90 points ahead of Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix, admitted it was merely a formality.

Asked if he found it difficult to accept that he was racing in the ‘Vettel era’, the Spaniard contested: “No. Obviously I’d like to win. I’m still 32, so it’s not the last year of my career.

“I will ensure I will have more opportunities. I’d like to win more championships. In the last four years, I fought for three world championships. I finished three times second, which is obviously sad but... I’m extremely proud.

“I think I’m doing the best races of my life this year. So when I go to bed, I’m extremely proud.”

Alonso saw no point in trying to delay what appears inevitable and would rather focus on getting more podiums than try and prolong Vettel’s crowning moment.

“I’m not thinking too much about this possibility,” he said outside the Ferrari motorhome as he spoke.

“In the remaining four races, I’ll try to get some podiums, to enjoy the podium ceremony, the champagne and the trophy.

“Then it’s (for) Sebastian who wins here or in Abu Dhabi, it’s more of his problem to be honest. (It) depends when he wants to celebrate, which is (the) best country to celebrate,” he said.

Alonso was not sure if winning four successive titles would make Vettel the greatest modern driver and refused to compare him with fellow German and seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

“I never raced close enough to Sebastian, to be honest,” quipped Alonso, who beat Schumacher to titles in 2005 and 2006 when he was at Renault.

“I’m sure he will try to win the remaining four races and I think he has the potential to win all four.

“We will try to be as close to him as possible and try to fight for the podium,” added Alonso.

Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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