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Fernando Alonso wastes no time in reacting to Helmet Marko's claim that he is under stress and too wrapped up in politics.
In an interview with the Red Bulletin, Marko, who directly advises Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, suggested that in some ways the Spaniard is his own worst enemy.
Describing the difference between Alonso and Vettel, Marko said the German "shuts himself off from the rest of the world, so that he can still call on reserves that other drivers might not have". On the other hand, according to the Austrian, the Spaniard is "busy with politics and funny comments".
"I believe we saw the stress he was under towards the end of the season," added Marko. "Saying things like, 'I'm competing against Hamilton, not Vettel,' and 'I'm up against Newey'. These psychological skirmishes - we said: 'Just ignore him."
Clearly relishing the new season, having taken the 2012 title fight down to the wire in a car which flattered to deceive, Alonso wasted no time to sharing his thoughts on Twitter.
"I enjoy reading that Red Bull still think we will be the strongest rival for next year!" he wrote. "And this even before start testing!! Flattered..;)"
Has the new season has effectively begun... or is the old one not yet over?
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