Ferrari’s new kid Charles Leclerc can end Hamilton’s F1 hold, says Alonso
08 Feb 2019
LONDON: Fernando Alonso believes Charles Leclerc can end Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s hold over Formula 1 as he begins his first season with Ferrari.
Mercedes won both the driver and constructor titles in each of the past five seasons, with Hamilton winning four of those, to equal Ferrari’s record set from 2000 to 2004 under the imperious dominance of Michael Schumacher.
Ferrari came close in 2017 and 2018 to ending their title drought, having not won either championship since 2008, but fell short despite having the fastest car for long periods due to errors from both the team and lead driver Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc, 21, will become the Scuderia’s second-youngest driver ever at the season opening Australian Grand Prix in March and two-time World Champion Alonso thinks the fresh face will be able to do what Vettel couldn’t in winning the fight against the Silver Arrows.
Alonso told Corriere della Sera: “He [Leclerc] is young, intelligent, and talented. I believe he has the combination of character and talent.
“I’m curious to see if the Mercedes cycle will end. I feel that the moment is near.”
The Spaniard, who quit the sport in November but hasn’t ruled out a possible return in the future, also said he would be looking out for Robert Kubica in 2019 with the Pole making an extraordinary return to F1 following life-threatening injuries to his right arm.
“I will follow Kubica. His story is extraordinary,” Alonso said. “Until a few months ago, Robert seemed to have lost all possibility. He has nothing to lose and will not miss a step.”