Alonso Issues Warning for Hamilton
|Topics: Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton
June 21, 2007
After the 2006 Formula One season and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso jumped from Renault to McLaren, the Spaniard said that he needs a new challenge. His wish may have been granted as he is now facing the biggest challenge in his career. He is not going toe to toe with any Ferrari or BMW Sauber driver but his challenger is in the same team. Lewis Hamilton, the British Formula One rookie sensation, is now the only obstacle between Alonso and his third consecutive driver’s championship.
The British driver has broken record after record in his maiden Formula One season. He now leads the driver’s championship standings with seven races already in the books and ten races more to go. In all of his seven races so far, Hamilton has produced podium finishes for McLaren. He placed third on the first race of the season. After that, he took four second place finishes. At the North American leg of the Formula One season, he won both the Canadian and United States Grand Prix.
Alonso though warns the newcomer that the contest for the championship is only about to start as the Formula One calendar takes them back to Europe. “I’m going to benefit from coming back to Europe. The championship starts now,” says Alonso in a recent interview. “We’ve done just seven races, not even half the championship. When we get back to Magny-Cours and Silverstone we start the real season and the real fight.”
The French Grand Prix will be held at the Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours on the first of July. The Santander British Grand Prix will be held a week later at the Silverstone Circuit.
Alonso though would have to raise his game to catch up with Hamilton. Both are talented drivers and both are using the same Mercedes-Benz bumper¬/nose-equipped MP4-22 Formula One car. At the Canadian and United States Grand Prix, it was their performance at the qualifying rounds that spelled the advantage over the other. Hamilton took pole position and eventually won both races.
While there are rumors that the tight battle between the two McLaren drivers has led to animosity, McLaren denies it. Norbert Haug, the vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, has this to say about the relationship between the teammates: “We have a situation right now where they speak their mind, but I have to really tell you it is not a problem at all inside the team. I think it is very, very balanced, and I cannot see any of these frictions. Of course, you have a positive competition between the drivers and between the teams, the left-hand and right-hand side of the garage.”
“I understand that people are looking for controversial stories. But inside the team, it’s different. If you look at our track records in the last couple of races, I honestly do not think that (if) we have the bad feelings inside the team you can achieve that. We must have positive and good feelings, and I think that’s what we achieved,” he added.
Hamilton currently leads Alonso by ten points after seven races. While Alonso is looking to show his best performance at the French and British Grands Prix, he will contend with the fact that the British Grand Prix is Hamilton’s home turf.
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