Alonso plays down chances of matching Schumi

Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has played down his chances of matching the achievements of the retired Michael Schumacher.

The 25-year-old Spaniard reclaimed his crown at the Brazilian Grand Prix, and in so doing, ended Schumacher’s bid to add to his record of seven drivers’ championships.

Even if he had not won the drivers’ title last year, this year’s triumphant victory still makes him the sport’s youngest champion.

Alonso has been hailed as heir to Schumacher, but the Renault driver says that he will find it hard to replicate the dominant Schumacher in years to come.

“Formula One changes a lot every year—the rules, the cars and, sometimes, you are not able to win and, sometimes, it’s impossible,” said Alonso.

“I think what is true, in the last two years, is that we were the best out there—the package of Renault, Michelin and me. We became champions twice and that is the only truth.

“From now on, nobody knows what is going to happen. Hopefully, I can fight for the championship, be in the top three or the top four with all the championships I do from now.
But it’s difficult to repeat what Michael did, to hold the dominant position for so many years.”

Alonso now leaves for a new challenge, with Renault’s championship rivals McLaren, who endured a torrid, winless season.

Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen leaves McLaren to fill the spot left by Schumacher’s retirement.

Alonso, meanwhile, is confident that McLaren will provide a competitive car for him to defend his title next year.

“There were some very good races [for McLaren this year], like Monza, where Kimi was second; Bahrain, where Kimi started last and finished third; and Monaco.

“But there were some races that they were not very good too, so I think they were a little bit up and down. Hopefully, we will find some consistency and, if we are regularly on the podium, why not fight for the championship?”

Alonso added: “Renault, for sure, will have a good car but, hopefully, I will find new motivation with McLaren—a new challenge, new people, a new way to work—and this is really very important for me. I’m looking forward to this new thing.”—Sapa-AFP