by Rob Wilkins

Former BRDC board director and former ITV-F1 TV pundit, Tony Jardine has predicted that Fernando Alonso will come back at Lewis Hamilton during the second half of the season.

Although Fernando had to settle for second best last time out in America, while his rookie team-mate took his second win in succession in the sister car, Jardine believes that Alonso's experience could tell as the year goes on.

"I would say that Fernando Alonso is going to come back stronger and stronger - and as you have seen seven races in a lot with the older, wiser drivers', they are really waking up to Lewis' massive talents," he told Radio when asked if the Spaniard can take the title for the third year in succession.

"I think, as Carlos Sainz said to me [recently], twice world rally champion and Spaniard, he said: 'You watch, Fernando Alonso is really, really going to dig deep'. I mean he is a really talented driver and of course we do love Fernando in the UK, but he is against a Brit, so it is a huge battle.

"But we are the ones who are going to be entertained by this great battle, as we were at Monte Carlo and as we have been in Canada and the US and it is going to be tremendous entertainment and a great battle up front between the McLaren drivers. Lets hope Ferrari can get there act together and they can mix it with them too."

Asked what he has made of Formula 1 in general this season, he added that the sport has taken on a new look this year - although he has been shocked by Kimi Raikkonen's failure to shine.

"It has been very, very exciting [so far this season]. I think we are seeing a new era coming in, where the young drivers' are taking over and where a degree of the old guard is certainly very much on the back-foot," he continued.

"It is a post-Michael Schumacher era. It is not just the Lewis factor, it is the Rosberg factor, the Sutil factor - it is this young generation of drivers' that have come through karting, Euro F3 and they are refreshingly different and refreshingly professional.

"Then you go up to the battle at the front itself. It is fascinating. The Lewis and Alonso factor is fascinating and behind that it is a mystery what is happening at Ferrari. It is unbelievable how Kimi Raikkonen so far seems to have gone off the rails and how Ferrari has taken a wrong turn.

"But as always in Formula 1 it always surprises you. There are always changes and just when you think it could be predictable, something else happens, whether it is politics, whether it is espionage, whether it is soap opera - Formula 1 has it all and that is why it is a great story and it is still bubbles under, even during the winter months..."




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