Fernando Alonso explained his view on the abilities of his closest championship rivals in the run-up to the Japanese Grand Prix.
Alonso said Sebastian Vettel, who is on the cusp of winning the world title for the fourth consecutive season, has been “very good, close to perfection all these years”.
However Alonso says the jury is still out on how good Vettel ultimately is: “It’s true that he had an advantage in car performance all these years so we see how good he is later in the career.”
“At the moment he is better than anyone and winning all the championships. But we saw also [Lewis] Hamilton starting in the first year nearly win the championship, in the second year winning the championship, but then he didn’t win any more because sometimes you have the car to do it, sometimes not. And at the moment Red Bull [and] Vettel are a very good combination and too good for us.”
Next year Alonso will be partnered at Ferrari by Kimi Raikkonen, who will take Felipe Massa’s place in the team. Alonso doesn’t expect a difference in performance between the two.
“For next year with Kimi I think we can do a very good championship for Ferrari, try to do again score as many points as possible,” he said.
“But I think in terms of speed Felipe’s not any slower. I mean when they were racing together Felipe was as quick as Kimi in a way so if we have a competitive car we will enjoy the season and we will do very good things.
“If we are not competitive car it will be very similar to this season, I think.”
2013 Japanese Grand Prix
- Grosjean voted Driver of the Weekend for first time
- Webber still has doubts over Japanese GP strategy
- Japanese Grand Prix gets average rating for 2013
- 2013 Japanese Grand Prix team radio transcript
- 2013 Japanese Grand Prix fans’ video gallery
Image ?é?® Ferrari/Ercole Colombo