Media and sponsor muzzle for Alonso in 2012 finale

Fernando Alonso will focus intensely on the final four races of the season amid a ‘media muzzle’, according to the German newspaper Bild.

The report said Ferrari’s Spaniard – who finally lost his championship lead as his on-form title rival Sebastian Vettel won a third consecutive grand prix on Sunday – will not give any more interviews as the 2012 season draws to a close over the next six weeks through India, Abu Dhabi, the US and finally Brazil. Bild also said Alonso will even curtail the time he will spend with Ferrari’s sponsors between now and the season finale in late November.

Alonso looked disappointed on the Korea podium on Sunday, but he insisted that while making up the now 6-point deficit will be “extremely tough”, it is not over yet.

“The important thing is to be first when you are crossing the line in Interlagos,” he is quoted by El Mundo newspaper.

Alonso suggested German Vettel cannot continue to expect to experience “perfect weekends” as he did in Singapore, Suzuka and Korea.

“Congratulations for that (the wins),” he said, referring to his Red Bull rival, “but when everything goes smoothly for so long, inevitably sooner or later something has to happen.”

Inevitably, off-track psychological elements like that will tinge the intense battle over the final races, but Vettel revealed that – even privately – Alonso was noble in defeat on Sunday.

“He said ‘Well done’, that’s it,” the 25-year-old told Bild.

“He just congratulated me very fairly. Mark (Webber) too. I like fairness like that, showing respect even when we are fighting one another and giving each other nothing.

“There are days when you are beaten, that’s part of it.”

Asked if he has Alonso’s phone number, Vettel admitted: “No, but I don’t have too many other drivers’ numbers either!”