Fernando Alonso was in philosophical mood after losing the World Championship to Sebastian Vettel by just three points.
Alonso said his mood was very different to Abu Dhabi in 2010, when he went into the final race with a 15-point lead.
“I’m very satisfied. I think it’s very good feeling what I have now,” said the Spaniard. “It was very frustrating maybe in Abu Dhabi two years ago because we had it in our hands and we lost it. It was some kind of frustration there. Here is completely the opposite.
“I’m so proud and I’m so happy to fight until the last lap with the package we have in hands. That is the best thing for me, to feel proud of myself, it was by far the best season of my career and I will remember this 2012 like some dream season. Obviously we didn’t achieve the points to win the title but I won so many things this year: so much respect from everybody.”
Alonso had hoped that the wet conditions would play into his hands.
“It was more or less what we wanted. Mixed conditions, and a very, very difficult race. It was one of the most difficult races we ever drove, I think with the conditions out there and you feel that you are with the wrong tyre every lap, but you ask the team and everyone is in the same position so you need to keep fighting.
“There was a lot of risk every lap to crash and have an accident and finish the race there. So we could not afford this for sure because we needed a podium finish to have any chance, so it was a very delicate situation but we managed very well and again we starting in eighth or seven or something like that and we finished in the podium one more time. As usual in the last couple of races.
“So this can only be achieved with perfection from the team, with good strategies, with good start, with good pace in the car. And today we mixed all again and it was very fine.”
He admitted that all he could do was hope that Vettel hit trouble.
“Obviously you are not in control of what your rivals do. And I think we need a second place and Sebastian eighth or something like that, which we know that is a very strange combination of results, because to be out of the first eight positions for Red Bull in this race is not so easy.
“So we were hoping for a little miracle, as we were hoping for all through the year. I think from the start to the end it was a dream, and we had this little present to fight for the championship until the last race. So we enjoyed the race, we did our job and the dream continued until today.”
Asked where he thought he had lost the championship, he said: “Obviously I have two retirements in the year, over 20 races and the two retirements was not engine problem, not gear problem, not driver error. It was nothing. It was one car puncturing your rear tyre and one car passing over you.
“Nothing really you could do in these two starts. So for sure there you lose a couple of points. There were also some races that we have some strange decisions let’s say, and some penalties, so maybe we lost also there.”