Lewis Hamilton to change his name
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Fernando Alonso is expecting to battle Lewis Hamilton throughout the 2022 season because he feels Alpine’s power unit, which is supplied by Renault, just equal to that of eight-time Constructors’ Championship winners Mercedes.
Hamilton has struggled in the opening two races of the season, finishing third and 10th respectively. Alonso crossed the chequered flag in ninth place in Bahrain but picked up a DNF in Saudi Arabia.
Despite the setback, the Spaniard feels his car is more than capable of tangling with the like of Hamilton and George Russell this year.
“We are very happy with the performance of our engine. We believe that we are playing in the same league as the others from this year,” said Alonso. “We were able to fight on the straights with the others in Jeddah and Bahrain, let’s wait and see if that is confirmed.”
Alpine are fourth in the standings with 16 points, some way behind Ferrari (78), Mercedes (38) and Red Bull (37). Alonso acknowledges that he will not be able to fight for race wins alongside Ferrari and Red Bull but he wants to be taking on old foe Hamilton.
“The Ferrari engine and the Honda are still a little ahead, but Renault is there,” the 40-year-old explained. “We lack a second reference team but the data is encouraging.”
Alpine were praised for the way they allowed Alonso to battle team-mate Esteban Ocon in Saudi Arabia, who was also complimentary of his new car.
“Good. I mean, we didn’t have to be shy of anybody,” he said when about the team’s engine. “As soon as I had the DRS open I could pass, I could overtake easily the Aston of Nico [Hulkenberg], Lando in the McLaren.
“Who else? I mean Fernando of course was there. I could compare to many different cars, and it was working well for us.”
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