Date: 18th November 2013 at 8:46am
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In the midst of Sebastian Vettel winning a record breaking eighth race in a single season, Fernando Alonso clinched second in the F1 championship.

The Ferrari driver couldn’t have put it any better when he described the achievement as: ‘like world champion of the rest.’

When you take into account how dominant the Red Bull has been for quadruple Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel, in comparison to how poor the Ferrari has been at times for Alonso, the Spaniard’s feat is just as impressive as the German’s if not more so.

‘Being second with the problems we had, above all in the second part of the year, means he did a great job.’ Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali told the BBC.

With Lotus Romain Grosjean finishing second and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton finishing fourth, Ferrari lost ground to both Lotus and Mercedes in the Formula One constructors championship.

Alonso added: ‘The main goal was to beat Mercedes and it was not a good weekend from that perspective and Lotus are getting closer.

The Formula One constructors championship is where the prize money is for the teams of F1. The media and the fans might have their attentions taken for the battle of the drivers, but for financial reasons the constructors championship is the big one.

It’s why Lotus risked seriously denting the pride and enthusiasm of young reserve driver Davide Valsecchi in favour of pulling in some experience to continue the battle. They made moves for Nico Hulkenberg and Michael Schumacher before signing Heikki Kovalainen.

The battle in the constructors championship might also have been why Alonso raced following his injury in Abu Dhabi.

Alonso had been cleared to race in the United States Grand Prix despite a back injury after the former two-time Formula One World Champion suffered the injury after launching off of the curbs on the exit of the pit-lane as he raced side-by-side with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne.

The impact as his Ferrari hit the track at 150mph was measured at an astonishing 28G by the on-board medical alarm. Anything above G-force of 18 triggers the alarm and the driver has to go for a mandatory medical check-up.

After visiting the tracks medical centre, Alonso was then forwarded on to hospital for a normal precautionary check requested by the FIA.

He was cleared to race, but in the build up to the Grand Prix in Austin he revealed he had been suffering persistent headaches and lack of sensitivity in his left arm and left leg.

‘All week I had a big headache because the nerve is compressed and I didn’t have enough blood pressure in the head,’

Speaking about the hospital tests he added: ‘when they did a normal test they saw some problem maybe, some lack of sensitivity in my left arm and my left leg.

‘Because of that they were a little bit worried and they put in this thing and I went to the hospital for the MRI or I don’t know what we did.’


Alonso insisted that in the car during practice and qualifying he was fine, but admitted that he was still having issues: ‘A little bit of pain yesterday night, and this morning when I woke up, but driving with all the adrenaline and warm-up is good, so maybe tonight again still some pain. But in the race when you are in the car, you forget everything.’

So not exactly the build up Alonso would have wished for the penultimate race of the season and you have to wonder if he should have raced at all.

 

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