Fernando Alonso, has been on everybody’s mouth once again after announcing a comeback to F1 in 2021, with Renault F1 which from next season will be renamed into Alpine F1 Team. The almost 40 years old Spaniard from Oviedo, Spain won 2 championships with the French team, and will sit behind the wheel again after exiting F1 by the end of 2018 and focusing on other motorsport related activities. Since his debut in 2001 he competed in 312 races, and drove for many teams from Minardi, Renault, to Ferrari and McLaren, to come back to Renault with a two year contract for 2021 and 2022.
In an interview with German Sportbild, he spoke about which great driver would it be harder to compete against - Michael Schumacher or Lewis Hamilton. He answered: “Difficult. These are different eras and cars with different levels of performance. But I remember Michael as a pilot who is hard to beat, one with the greatest talent. He had that little bit extra. Lewis is very good and the best of his generation. But he didn't win the World Championship with McLaren when he was a team-mate of Jenson (Button). At Mercedes, Nico Rosberg also won the World Championship. Michael never had such things. He always won. For me, Michael is one step ahead.”
Alonso also spoke out about the Vettel - Ferrari situation. Both of the drivers shared a similar fate, as they both came to Ferrari after winning their world championship titles and were hoping to achieve more with the legendary team from Maranello - but were left behind with no further titles, and eventually left the team. When asked, Alonso said: "Ferrari is the most legendary team in F1 and it is special to drive for them. Even though I didn't win the title, it was a very positive experience for me. I think Sebastian will also have good memories of Ferrari, even if he didn't win the title with them. I think we [Seb and myself] both lacked the right car and the technical capabilities at the right moment.”
He also tried to explain the unsuccessful stint at Ferrari, both in his situation and Vettel’s as well.
As he said: “When you sign with Ferrari, you assume that you can win the World Championship. After four titles, Vettel will probably have thought that he could get another with Ferrari. But sometimes you don't get lucky when the moment is right, and opportunities slip by. That's why in my career I tried not to concentrate only on Formula 1 and, for example, drove the 24 Hours of Le Mans and tried to win everything that can be won.”
Although Alonso is in no way new in F1, it will be interesting to see his comeback with Alpine next season, and especially with the premise for 2022 and the change in the regulations from that season on. Alonso is definitely one of the most know driver with great abilities, so it will surely provide a spectacle for the fans and others involved.