Championship leader Fernando Alonso backs Lewis Hamiltonís move out of McLaren
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton made the right choice by leaving McLaren for Mercedes. The Spaniard, who currently leads the Championship, said that if Lewis Hamilton wanted to win more Formula One titles he had to act more ambitiously.
“I think it's normal, it's just steps on your career. I said when the rumors were there that for Lewis it's a good thing to move on,” Fernando Alonso said before this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Last week, Mercedes announced the signing of Lewis Hamilton. In an official statement, Mercedes informed that the 2008 Formula One champion would replace Michael Schumacher on their team.
Fernando Alonso, who won the Formula One Championship in 2005 and 2006, used to partner with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren. However, after a falling out with former McLaren boss Ron Dennis, the 31-year-old opted to move away.
“From McLaren, [Alain] Prost was going out, then it was me, now it's Lewis. And normally for a better life. A good change,” said Fernando Alonso, who returned to Renault in 2008.
Ferrari approached Fernando Alonso with a contract in 2010 which the Spaniard signed immediately. In the same year Fernando Alonso lost the Championship title to Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel. In 2011, Fernando Alonso finished fourth.
“McLaren is 14 years without winning the constructors' championship - most of these years sometimes with the best car,” Fernando Alonso said. “I am sure Lewis wants to win as well.”
The last time McLaren won the Constructor’s Championship was in 1998. McLaren’s last triumph in the Drivers’ Championship would have been in 1999 had it not been for Lewis Hamilton’s phenomenal run in 2008.
Fernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will prove to be tough competitors next season.
“I think so, I think he did great in McLaren,” Fernando Alonso continued. “He won one world championship...he won races, he is considered one of the best drivers and next year I think he will enjoy more and be very competitive.”
“From next year I think he is a clear contender for the championship with Mercedes. They are a top team and with Ross Brawn there and all the potential of a big company behind they are very strong.”
With just six races remaining in the season, Fernando Alonso leads the Championship with 194 points on the table. His former teammate Lewis Hamilton is fourth with 142 points to his name.