Fernando Alonso, regarded as one of the greatest F1 drivers of his generation, spent most of his time at Ferrari battling Sebastian Vettel on the track – and he had some interesting and rather timely remarks about his four World Championship titles in 2013.
When asked by Channel 4 journalist Lee McKenzie if he would put Vettel in the same category as Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, Alonso said how the German performs when he’s not in the fastest car on the grid will determine how highly he will be regarded when people look back at his career.
“Time will tell us. When he [has] a car like the others, if he wins, he will be one of the legends in Formula 1,” the Spaniard said.
“[But], when one day he has a car like the others, and he is fourth, fifth or seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles in a worse manner than they are doing now.
“So, there are interesting times coming for Sebastian,” he concluded.
However, he has largely been overshadowed by younger teammate Charles Leclerc since he joined Ferrari – and he has become increasingly accident-prone in recent seasons.
So, based on his comments in 2013, it’s fair to say that Alonso probably doesn’t consider Vettel a legend of Formula 1.
However, although Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the season, he could still be on the grid for years to come, so there is time for him to redeem himself and remind us all of just how good he really is.
Another less likely possibility is Vettel returning to Red Bull to partner Max Verstappen, as Formula1News.co.uk managing editor Suliman Mulhem explored in this article.
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso will return to Formula 1 next year with Renault after spending a couple of years on the side-lines.