JANUARY 13, 2011
Alonso is wary of Schumacher
Fernando Alonso, surprisingly, rates Michael Schumacher as a big threat for the 2011 world championship despite the seven times champion's difficult F1 return.
Schumacher was overshadowed by Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg last year in a car that team principal Ross Brawn admits was unadventurous and which proved unsuited to the German's aggressive style. Schumacher is hoping that the 2011 Mercedes on Pirelli's new F1 rubber will have a stronger front end and will allow him to challenge for a 92nd F1 win, at least.
Alonso, who fought tough battles with Schumacher for his two world titles in 2005-6, said: "There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me, is always Michael. Now, in January, if I have to choose one name, I have to say Michael. He has nothing to prove. He had a difficult season but he is still a champion. He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender."
Alonso also thinks that taking the title at such a young age will make Sebastian Vettel even stronger.
"No doubt Sebastian will be a contender. He will have experience and will be calmer in certain moments. He will drive better than last year and that makes him dangerous.
"McLaren will also be one of the favourites. But hopefully our car is better than the others and my toughest rival this year is Felipe!"