While Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel were at Ferrari, he believed the team was “not ready” to compete for World Championships.
During his time with the Scuderia, Alonso was widely recognized as helping push multiple under-performing cars to their limits, coming agonizingly close to winning the World Championship in 2010 and 2012, despite being in inferior machinery to Vettel’s Red Bull at the time.
After Alonso left Ferrari in 2015 to return to McLaren, the German was unable to win a championship in his six seasons with the team — after Alonso had been there for five years.
Vettel also came close to winning a fifth World Championship with the Scuderia, after battling with Lewis Hamilton for the first half of both 2017 and 2018, before the Mercedes was able to pull away in both seasons.
They both came close to winning the World Championship for different reasons, but Alonso intimated that the team might not have been in the right place to do so.
“No,” Alonso told F1-Insider when asked if he and Vettel have discussed their combined lack of titles with Ferrari.
“Although we often had close battles when I was in the Ferrari and he was in the Red Bull. In 2012, he was even a bit lucky in the last race to finish with a badly damaged Red Bull.
“We both tried Ferrari, got close at times, but didn’t make it in the end. Maybe Ferrari was not ready to have a World Champion in the cockpit again in our times.”
Ferrari’s last World Champion, Kimi Raikkonen, won the title in 2007, and the Scuderia has now broken with their long-held tradition of having experienced drivers in a clear ‘number one’ and ‘number two’ role by fielding their youngest ever driver line-up this year in Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Because of the team’s adjustment, Leclerc admitted earlier this year that the team’s atmosphere has changed after Vettel’s departure.
Alonso believes they have adopted a larger plan as they plot their way back to the front, as a result of their failure to fight for championships in the last couple of years.
“I think now they have changed their planning,” he said. “The expectations are not so high anymore; they are racing with young drivers. They think more in longer periods now, not too short-term.”
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