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Alonso tips Schumacher to challenge for F1 drivers' title
German great will be one of eight to challenge for Formula One crown
Posted Jan 19, 2011 by Jeff Dawson
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Michael Schumacher made a less than convincing return to Formula One last season after four years in the wilderness that is retirement, but can he make more of an impression in 2011?
That’s a question that I have pondered for some time and finding a suitable answer is difficult. Many of his competitors still fear him and still consider him the man to beat despite finishing a massively disappointing ninth in the 2010 campaign in his Mercedes.
In fact, last season’s runner-up, Fernando Alonso, has identified the seven-time world champion as his biggest rival ahead of the opening race of the season in Bahrain on March 13th.
Alonso has a knack of predicting the outcome of races and championships and towards the back end of last season he insisted that three podiums in the last three races would have won him the title. He was right. But he was unable to gain a pole in Abu Dhabi in the season finale and had to settle for second place in the championship behind another German, Sebastian Vettel, who became the youngest ever world champion. His win also came as part of Red Bull’s first ever constructors’ championship success.
So is Alonso right about Schumacher?
Well there’s no doubt the veteran German has the ability to challenge but with age comes caution and he must find that killer instinct that he is famed for.
He will also need a car that can challenge with the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren and if Mercedes can produce a vehicle of the highest calibre then Schumacher will definitely be in the hunt.
The 2011 season will be one where we will see so many drivers be in competition for the top spot. I expect the likes of Robert Kubica in the Renault to be involved in more battles at the front and with drivers like Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Vettel, whilst not forgetting Felipe Massa, I think we will see seven or eight drivers capable of challenging for the drivers’ championship.
The coming season, if 2010 was anything to go by, will be a fantastic eight months of action and one which F1 fans worldwide will be able to savour.