Fernando Alonso has some fond memories of his single season alongside Lewis Hamilton in 2007.
The duo’s championship scrap at McLaren was billed as a highly tumultuous one, but Spaniard Alonso – now at Ferrari – insists that his only argument was with the British team’s then management led by Ron Dennis.
“If we were teammates at another team it would be a much cleaner struggle, and a real one,” said Alonso, who finished the season equal with Hamilton and a single point shy of Kimi Raikkonen’s title.
Recalling 2007, he explained to Spanish sports newspaper Marca: “You always learn lessons in tough times.
“That year was good overall, both Lewis and I learned many things. When you share a team with a top driver you learn to grow together.
“You improve in terms of preparing for a race and even from his driving style, because you share telemetry, so it was a great experience,” added Alonso.
As for 2011, Ferrari is now switching its focus to 2012, with Alonso admitting chasing down Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel will be almost impossible.
“Ferrari can not go to races not thinking about winning, but we are realists and know how difficult it is. We need Vettel to have failures,” he said.
The Spaniard is therefore much more confident about 2012.
“Of course we can catch them (Red Bull),” insisted Alonso. “The rules have changed, the blown diffusers will be forbidden, so the philosophy in the development and in the wind tunnel has to change.”
He said Ferrari’s recent structural changes have already made a difference.
“I have noticed more desire and general optimism, more speed in decision-making, more courage in the development. Yes, we have improved the structure and how we work.”