HAVE YOUR SAY WE NEED YOU! GET INVOLVED WITH MN MN SAYS... Could we get Lewis v Seb?
WRITE TO US Motorsport News Haymarket Consumer Media, Bridge House, 69 London Road, Twickenham TW1 3SP Mercedes-ferrari fight would do Formula 1 the world of good
I have always thought that Sebastian Vettel’s score of four F1 titles was a tad generous given that, as of the end of 2013, fellow era benchmarks Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were sat on two and one respectively. A true F1 great though he is, Vettel hasn’t been the only defining driver of his generation.
But Lewis is now catching up and there is a chance that, for the first time since 2010, the two could fight it out for the F1 crown this season. That relies on Ferrari getting closer to Mercedes, but that is the hope we all have ahead of the new campaign. If not, it will be Hamilton v Rosberg again and I think we all know where that is likely to end up... In fact, if Ferrari is close, I would expect Hamilton’s edge over Rosberg (notwithstanding Nico’s fine form at the end of 2015) to grow. That often happens when the going gets tough – Michael Schumacher was invariably further ahead of Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari when the squad had real opposition.
So what of Alonso? If the great Spaniard ends his F1 career on just two titles, it will be as much of a travesty as Stirling Moss not winning the crown or Nigel Mansell only securing a single title. He has performed more against-the-odds wins and podiums over the last decade, with the possible exception of Hamilton, than any other driver and deserves another championship.
That doesn’t look like happening in 2016. There may be some logic to the argument that Mclaren needs a works engine deal to defeat Mercedes and Ferrari but, while the relationship gells with Honda, the talents of Alonso and Jenson Button (the most underrated world champion on the grid?) continue to go to waste. And with youngsters like Max Verstappen coming through the ranks, you wonder how many more opportunities either of them will get.
Talking of opportunities, I wonder how many chances F1 can take to make things worse rather than better. The utterly pointless tweaks to qualifying are a classic example of F1 changing one thing while bigger issues get left to fester. Let’s just hope the on-track action is good enough to detract and distract from the off-circuit nonsense in 2016. Kevin Turner, Editor
■ Snetterton, Norfolk
MSVR meeting Lotus Elise, Lotus Cup, Monoposto, Allcomers, Lotus Sprint Starts racing from 1055hrs (qualifying from 0900hrs) Admission adult £15, under 13 free Web msv.com Contact 0843 453 9000