Webber Not Completely Onboard With Fernando Alonso’s F1 Return

Published 04/02/2021, 10:09 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

When it was announced that Fernando Alonso would be making his Formula 1 comeback, the F1 community was really excited.


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The 2-time World Champion had an impressive race at the season opener before an unfortunate incident forced him into an early retirement.

Many were excited at the prospect of the veteran’s return. However, there are some who believed that the younger drivers should be prioritized.


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Former Red Bull driver, Mark Webber acknowledged Alonso’s F1 career and shared his mixed emotions on the comeback.

“Mixed emotions on this one for me. I have a massive amount of respect for Fernando, he’s one of the best that ever raced.

“But there’s a point where…I just love youth coming through, I love [asking] ‘where’s the next Max Verstappen? Where’s the next Charles Leclerc?’ They’re great for the sport.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Alpine’s Fernando Alonso arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“Fernando’s a big name, huge for Spain, great for the sport, but I just like that our sport should continue to look for the future and find the Alonso we found 20 years ago,” explained the former F1 driver.


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Webber believes the situation could become sour for Fernando Alonso

Alonso is making his comeback with the newly rebranded Renault, Alpine F1. This season, things are not going to be easy for the French team. However, the 2022 regulations could provide a more level field and the Spaniard is looking forward to the new era.

However, the former champion will have to settle for a midfield result and that could be easy for someone like Alonso who wants to win.


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“It’s all happy days when there’s a bit of champagne flying around and Fernando is dominating or even beating his team-mate consistently and he’s the one performing and bringing more to the team. That’s all great.

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 13, 2021. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“If it’s the other way around, if Esteban Ocon has his measure and the team is mid-pack, there could be some friction because Fernando will not accept being outperformed by Ocon fair and square and if that does happen, that will be a challenge,” shared Webber.


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Fernando Alonso had a tough start to the season and had to retire due to a break duct problem. However, he felt the speed of Formula 1 and what it was to race on the grid. Do you believe he will find his champion self and make the most of this season?


Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!