F1

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen shot down by Fernando Alonso – ‘I’m better’

Fernando Alonso: Pundits discuss potential F1 return in 2021

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Fernando Alonso has returned to F1 this season after a two-year break but he has not come back to just make up the numbers. The two-time world champion has the ambition of winning races with Alpine, who have been rebranded from Renault.

Lewis Hamilton is expected to clinch his eighth world title this season to pull away from the record he shares with Michael Schumacher.

Max Verstappen will likely be his closest challenger as the Red Bull star hunts a maiden Drivers’ Championship.

F1 is set to introduce major regulation changes from next year and Alonso reckons he could then be in the running for the big prizes.

“I am back in F1 with the aim of doing well and the aim of winning races and championships,” he told BBC Sport.

“The regulations are a little bit different but basically the same as previous years so I don’t see any miracle happening there.

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“I think in 2022 there is a chance, with the new regulations, of mixing the grid a little bit.

“We want to be one of those teams who surprises everybody and to do that we have to work very hard this year.”

Driver line-ups have changed since Alonso was last in the sport but those challenging at the front of the grid remain the same.

“I am looking forward to challenging the young talented guys who have been showing great performances in the younger categories,” the Spaniard added.

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“Then we have great champions that were here two years ago with Lewis [Hamilton], Sebastian [Vettel], Kimi [Raikkonen] and [Max] Verstappen, who is one of the young ones who is racing at the top level for four or five years.

“We have a very competitive grid and it is going to be a challenge to race them.”

The field is expected to become much closer from next season, meaning driver ability will count for more.

Hamilton and Verstappen will still be regarded as frontrunners, but would Alonso put himself in that bracket?

“No, I’m better,” he responded.

Alonso won back-to-back world titles in 2005 and 2006 but he took time away from F1 in 2018 to try and win motorsport’s Triple Crown.

However, he failed to secure the elusive Indy 500 title.

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