Webber backs Alonso to challenge Hamilton and Verstappen next season – “Guy is a magician”

Mark Webber has backed Fernando Alonso to challenge Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen next season, saying he could be a threat in the right car.

Hamilton and Verstappen have been fighting tooth and nail for the status of top dog this season. However, there is a significant gap between them and the rest of the field.

The two drivers’ sheer consistency this season has seen them operate at a higher level than the rest of their peers. For example, the next best driver in Valtteri Bottas is almost 100 points behind the duo.

However, the former Red Bull driver reckoned that in 2022, should he get a great car, Alonso would match or even better 2021’s title rivals.

Webber backed Alonso to challenge Hamilton and Verstappen next season, and said that his pace on his day is race win material.

“Fernando, he is driving well. Has he got that last two tenths that Max and Lewis will have in qualifying? I don’t think so,” Webber told the F1 Nation podcast.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen might not have the F1 title race all to themselves in 2022
Webber thinks Alonso could join this pair on podiums soon. Source: express.co.uk

“Has he got the knowledge, the nous of how to strip down and pull a race afternoon together? Unbelievable. The guy is still a bit of a magician, we know that.

“I guess I used to hang out with him a bit on the track so I know where, generally, he would end up and be – and he’s the last guy you want to be hanging out with for two hours in your mirrors.”

In the hunt

Webber also heaped praise on Alonso’s ability to stay in the thick of things, and how he changes his approach on the fly. ‘

“As we saw with Lewis in Budapest, when you’re trying to pass him, he is the driver that mixes it up the most,” he continued.

“He will be constantly mixing it up and just constantly changing. For you to get into a rhythm behind him, he’s very, very good. So let’s see how next year goes with the new car, that’ll be interesting.

“(A) new car for him for him next year will be interesting. If they come out with a rocket, he could be dangerous,” he concluded.

Read more: Webber backs Ferrari over McLaren to finish third – “Their drivers are at an advantage”

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