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I think that's too harsh to say really. It's all in his hands. The thing is, nobody at this point really expects him to beat Alonso. That goes for people inside the team as well.
Felipe is well respected, he's shown what he can do, but Alonso is a superstar, a multiple world champion. I think most people would say that the best you can expect from Felipe is to perform close to Alonso's level. But at the same time, he has the same car. If he was to start the season by regularly beating Alonso he would earn the support for his championship bid.
There are many conspiracy theories out there but in reality, I don't think any team would deliberately sabotage their highest-scoring driver. He did beat Kimi, remember? And the year after Kimi won the WDC too. Don't you think realistically, Kimi was considered the lead driver in the team in the beginning of the season then?