Red Bull boss Christian Horner accepts the 'dirty tricks' from rivals that upset Sebastian Vettel so much are simply a consequence of his outfit being so successful.
In the immediate aftermath of Vettel clinching his third straight Formula 1 drivers' title in the Brazilian Grand Prix, the German talked about games that had been played against his outfit over the course of the campaign.
"A lot of people tried to use dirty tricks, certain things that from our point of view that were beyond the limit, and we never got irritated or distracted by that," he said.
He later refused to expand on what he was specifically upset about, but it is believed to relate to both technical rows, issues in the stewards' office in Japan and speculation linking him to a future at Ferrari.
Horner did not wish to get dragged into criticism of his rivals after Red Bull's latest success, but he did concede that such political aspects were to be expected for any outfit consistently winning.
"It's been a tough competition," he said. "Formula 1 is a tough business and you're up against some tough opponents.
"The fastest way to become unpopular is to have repeated success. We've ignored what other teams are doing and have just focused on ourselves."
When asked about the 'dirty tricks' line, Vettel said: "We have to focus on what we have, what is in our hands and not get excited about what others are doing... what's the point?
"It only carries you away and distracts you and you lose your focus.
"You can't focus on achieving your optimum, which is the only way that really helps you as much as you can to be in the position that you want to be after 20 races."
Ferrari also did not wish to get dragged into the matter, even though Alonso had suggested that one of the key moments that cost him the title was the Japanese GP stewards' decision to only hand Vettel a reprimand for impeding him in qualifying.
When asked about Vettel and Alonso's comments, Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said: "I see things from a different angle.
"I don't want to follow that. For me it is clear we raced 18 races out of 20, and we were second by three points. That is hurting. Other things are not really interesting."
- Sports & Recreation
- Sebastian Vettel