Although recently Lewis Hamilton sowed doubts about the Asturian’s return to Formula 1, his boss in Mercedes, Toto Wolff, is convinced that Fernando Alonso it will be competitive. In addition, he will want to show that he can still do well, according to the CEO of the German team.
“The interesting thing here is the comparison of the very young, these almost adolescents, with those of 40 years. Fernando is one of the most talented pilots and one of the strongest fighters Y I am sure it will be competitive. Alonso will want to show that he can still do well, I’m pretty sure, “said Toto Wolff in an interview for ‘SpeeWeek, com’.
The head of the Mercedes team has also valued the arrival of Carlos Sainz to Ferrari: “It will be exciting to see how Sainz does against Charles Leclerc. Ferrari will be stronger than 2020. It also suffered from a weak chassis last year. I suppose the errors will have been corrected ”.
Hamilton does not see Alonso as a rival
On the return of Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, who is three years his junior, declared: “I see pros and cons, experience is very important and it will be at Renault. Experience can help a team to go in the right direction. But I don’t know what it has 40 years? I don’t know if it is difficult for the body. Michael came back at that age and was great, I have no doubts about Fernando, he will be in good shape. It’s fine for me, I was the second oldest and now I’ll be the third, great ”.
However, the seven-time champion sees neither Alpine nor Ferrari, where they will race this season Fernando Alonso Y Carlos Sainz, respectively, as rivals of Mercedes and Red Bull. The only team to which Lewis Hamilton McLaren is seen with the possibility of joining the battle, which in 2021 will mount Mercedes engines. “I was very happy to see McLaren so close, particularly with the way they have undergone good changes and will use our engine this year. It was great to see you in 2020 with a good car and maybe in 2021 they can be in the fight with us. If the championship turns into a three-way fight, I think it would be a great incentive for Formula 1 fans, ”said the British driver.
Along the same lines as Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff said: “McLaren can be one of the big surprises. Ricciardo is a well-known figure and, personally, I have a very high opinion of Lando Norris. “
Zak Brown, Toto Wolff’s counterpart in Mclaren, knows the Asturian perfectly, with whom he has competed in both Formula 1 and IndyCar. Questioned by him recently, he noticed that he saw him faster than ever: “Renault was the third best car from time to time last year and Fernando is faster than he has ever been. He will also drive at the top of the middle zone. Ocon had a tough time at the beginning of 2020, but at the end he was not that far from Ricciardo’s level. “
Alpine hopes to end Mercedes’ dominance in 2021
However, from Alpine, both Luca de Meo, president of Renault, and Fernando Alonso himself, have wanted to reassure their rivals. They do not expect big changes compared to the previous season, so they face 2021 as a year of transition. “What we expect in 2021 is a year of transition, mainly focused on brand recognition. A team that will appear regularly in the newspapers and on television ”, began Luca de Meo. “Later in 2022 we hope to be on the podium regularly, with the potential to win a few races.”, He added.
In the words of the president of Renault, Fernando Alonso added: “We know that in 2021 only Hamilton and Mercedes can win, but many of us are looking forward to 2022: Alpine, Ferrari, Carlos, Verstappen, Red Bull, etc. Many are hopeful, but unfortunately not for 2021 ”.
Regarding his goal for this season, he stated: “I think Mercedes will be in front of everyoneThen there will be Red Bull and then I expect a fight between several teams. Alpine will be in that group of teams and it will be interesting to see who adapts best to the new rules. I think it will be very tight, we can fight for a sixth or seventh on the grid, but also for a fifteenth very easily. Our goal is to fight for the top-10”.
Looking ahead to 2022, the date on which the change in regulation that is called to put an end to Mercedes’ dominance will come into force, Fernando Alonso pointed out: “We will all be in a position to put the cars on the track and see if someone can do it. in front of Mercedes. It is difficult to guarantee that, it is not an exact science. We will be well prepared and hope to fight in 2022, but nothing can guarantee it ”.