Webber questions whether Alonso is still ‘as fast and brave’

Former F1 driver Mark Webber says Fernando Alonso is still as good as he was two decades ago, but the Aussie wonders if the Alpine veteran is still as “fast and brave” as he once was.

Alonso has returned to the grid this season with the Alpine team after racing away from F1 during two years in a variety of events and machinery.

The 39-year-old Spaniard has chosen his former Enstone squad as his port of call to extend his career at the pinnacle of motorsport.

Podiums – let alone race wins – will be hard to come by for the French outfit in 2021, but Alonso is hoping that next year’s regulation overhaul will provide an opportunity for team and driver to shine.

However, Webber believes his former rival and good friend has little time on his hands to restore his former luster as one of Grand Prix racing’s greatest.

“I’m a superfan of Fernando and he knows that,” the Aussie told Spain’s Marca.

“He was something spectacular. But I was worried because I knew it wouldn’t be easy for him, it’s a fact that it’s been complicated. When your name’s Alonso, Schumacher, Lauda…comebacks can be complicated. It’s been proven in many sports.

“I don’t doubt, far from it, Fernando’s motivation. He’s extraordinary, very versatile with many types of cars, but Formula 1 doesn’t understand patience. It’s the pinnacle, you can’t apologise and say ‘I need more time’.

“Why is that? Because in F1 you always have to be ready and he knows that.”

    Read also – Webber: ‘People think I enjoy watching Vettel suffer’

Webber also feels that Alonso’s age is an inevitable factor that could impact his ability to shine, the former Red Bull driver suggesting that a parallel could be drawn between the Spaniard and the dwindling career of 42-year-old MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.

“That’s my question – can Fernando today surpass the Fernando of 25 years ago?” Webber added.

“He’s just as good, he has more experience but… is he really as fast, as brave? That’s a question only he can answer. I’m always positive about him, but the facts are different.

“Look at Valentino Rossi. He’s suffering, it’s horrible, I hate to see him, I refuse to see him like this. We know he can turn it around because we trust him, but the stopwatch never lies, it’s the damned reality.”

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