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Alonso: Challenging Schumacher record tough, perhaps impossible

Double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has played down expectations of replicating the success of the legendary Michael Schumacher by adding five more drivers' crowns to his career CV with Ferrari
Fernando Alonso has swiftly sought to pour cold water on suggestions that – should he indeed go on to end his F1 career at Ferrari, as he has claimed he now intends to do [see separate story – click here] – he will be able to challenge and even surpass the record-breaking success of the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Alonso joins Ferrari aged 28 and with two drivers' world championships already under his belt. When Schumacher joined Ferrari for the 1996 F1 campaign, the German was aged 27 and similarly had two titles to his name at the highest level – and over the following eleven years he went on to add another five crowns to his extraordinary career CV.

A daunting task, undeniably, but equally, it has been pointed out, Alonso arrives at a Prancing Horse in far more competitive shape than it was a decade-and-a-half ago. Indeed, the Spaniard has already been installed by some observers as the early pre-season favourite – and whilst he acknowledges that he clearly hopes and expects to be amongst the leading protagonists in 2010, the 21-time grand prix-winner advises against getting too carried away too soon.

“Winning seven championships would be tough, if not impossible in today's Formula 1,” he mused, “but I will attempt to win as much as possible in the coming years.”

Moreover, in order to do so – at least over the next three years – Alonso will need to overcome Schumacher himself, with the 91-time grand prix-winner making a sensational return to the fray with Mercedes Grand Prix. The Oviedo native is the only man currently in F1 competition to have beaten 'Schumi' to the laurels – in both 2005 and 2006 – and he confesses that he is excited about the prospect of renewing battle with the most successful driver in the sport's history.

“For a driver who was at the top, it must be difficult to stay at home, because the adrenaline remains,” the 28-year-old reflected. “If he's been given this opportunity and has taken the decision to race again, it's because he feels he is ready and still competitive.

“I'm happy about it; it's positive and a good thing for Formula 1, and I think his comeback can only help this sport, especially after such a difficult year as we had in 2009. For the fans, 2010 will be very interesting, and for me his presence on the track will be a further motivation.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.10.2006 Sao Paulo, Brazil,  Fernando Alonso (ESP), Renault F1 Team and Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday
22.10.2006 Sao Paulo, Brazil,  Fernando Alonso (ESP), Renault F1 Team and Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday
22.10.2006 Sao Paulo, Brazil,  Fernando Alonso (ESP), Renault F1 Team and Michael Schumacher (GER), Scuderia Ferrari - Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sunday
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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George Zaidan

January 17, 2010 10:13 PM

The way some of you folks carry on with your petty grudges it's a wonder you don't float away with all that hot air you spew. I doubt if Alonso stays awake at nite wondering what so and so said about him on these threads. Lighten up folks and enjoy the effort these guys put in for our sakes.

mickv8sc - Unregistered

January 18, 2010 12:19 AM

its as if some can see into the future with all the angry predictions. I love F1, my full time job is travelling around the world in motorsport and personally, i wouldnt bet on any one driver yet, the rule variations for car, the driving styles suited to cars and tracks and tyres! the variations that can de-rail or guide a season are massive. the only thing i would bet on is that this season will be spectacular to watch - 4 past champions, and resurgent massa and new teams coming in as well, no fuel stops.. ill be happy if schumi wins, but i would if hamilton does too, ill be stoked for a new team if they get on the podium - i cant wait! See you in Bahrain if your there.



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