Fernando Alonso tips Max Verstappen as favourite over Lewis Hamilton for Formula 1 2021 title
Max Verstappen the favourite because he's "performing better" than Lewis Hamilton, says Fernando Alonso; "But things can change quickly," admits two-time champion; Watch Austrian GP live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 01/07/21 6:03pm
Fernando Alonso believes Max Verstappen is now the favourite in a "very interesting" Formula 1 title battle against Lewis Hamilton.
After years of chasing Mercedes and Hamilton, Red Bull and Verstappen have taken the 2021 championship by storm and, following victories in France and last weekend in Austria, Verstappen holds an 18-point advantage.
Ahead of this weekend's second race around Spielberg's Red Bull Ring, Alonso, a two-time world champion who is no stranger to a title challenge, had his say on the current battle as well as tipping the favourite.
And the Alpine driver is leaning towards the young Dutchman and not his record-breaking former McLaren team-mate.
"The favourite probably is Max because he's performing better," said Alonso of the man who has won four out of eight races this year.
"But things can change quickly depending on the performance of the teams and the updates to the car."
He added to Sky F1's David Croft: "Today I think I will say Max, but things can change very quickly.
"With one retirement or one bad lap, race or whatever. We saw in Baku, if Lewis had been in the race, he was already in the lead."
Either way, Alonso - aged 39 and the winner of back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 - is enjoying the fight.
"I think it is very interesting from outside to follow and to watch," he stated.
"At least we don't have like previous years that it was Lewis against Lewis and sometimes Valtteri [Bottas] but not often.
"At the moment we have a more interesting championship so we can follow with a little more adrenaline up until Abu Dhabi, which is a good thing."
Alonso is also heading into this weekend's Austrian GP with momentum, having scored points in three straight races.