Fernando Alonso wants F1 return to exploit Lewis Hamilton 'weakness'
"We need to see [Lewis] when the pressure is on," says Alonso as two-time F1 champion talks up F1 return in 2021
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 29/01/20 11:54am
Fernando Alonso is confident he could challenge Lewis Hamilton if he returns to Formula 1, with the Spaniard insisting the sport's six-time champion has "weak points" which the current grid aren't exploiting.
Since leaving F1 at the end of 2018, Alonso, who won his two titles over a decade ago, has continued to leave the door open for a return and stressed his desire again in an interview with F1 Racing.
"I'm not done with F1," said Alonso, 38, who starred with Renault, McLaren and Ferrari. "2021 is a good opportunity and I feel fresh and ready now.
"It's something I will explore."
Alonso added that he had "unfinished business" and that he would only come back to win, although to do that he would have to break Hamilton's stranglehold over F1. The Englishman has won five championships in the last six years during Mercedes' unparalleled spell of dominance, and is closing in on Michael Schumacher's title and win records.
But while Alonso, who was Hamilton's team-mate in his rookie season at McLaren in 2007, admitted the Mercedes star had raised his level in the last few years - particularly due to his consistency even when the car is not performing - he is confident he knows how to beat him.
"He still has some weak points that have not been stressed yet - no one is pressing that button, that weakness," Alonso stated.
"If you study Lewis's season there is always a common trend. He starts the year slowly and no one takes the benefit of that. We all get excited that it will be the year of [Valtteri] Bottas, but it's not. It would be nice to compete against [Lewis] in a proper fight. Maybe his weak points are not real and everything is calculated but it would be nice to discover.
"When you have a good package and the other guys crash and you extend your championship lead, everything seems calm. If you are only one point ahead or ten points behind, the stress is different. The mistakes are different and your radio communications are different. We need to see him when the pressure is on."
Hamilton has won all of his last three titles with at least two races to spare, but is expecting a big challenge in 2020 with the likes of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc emerging.
Hamilton is out of contract at the end of the season, along with Sebastian Vettel - making for a bumper driver market which Alonso is looking to make the most of.
Alonso, who talked up moves to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, would be 39 by the time of F1 2021 - the sport's next major rules revamp - but insisted his age shouldn't be an issue for teams.
"I will be ready to come back [to F1] stronger and, if in the right package, [I] will win," he said.
The first confirmed car launch for 2020 is Ferrari's on February 11, before pre-season testing starts on February 19. The season-opening race in Australia is on March 15, with all 22 races live on Sky Sports F1