According to 1996 World Champion Damon Hill, Alonso’s switch to McLaren for the 2007 season is brave but exciting.
Talking to Spanish newspaper Marca, Hill commented, “It’s a gamble. But he wants to demonstrate his contribution to the team. When you are with a successful taem for a long time, people can start to think that your achievements are the product of the car rather than the driver. Fernando wants to show that he can win with a different team, just like Rossi did by changing to Yamaha. Yes it’s a big risk, but I think it’s the best way to demonstrate true quality.”
So far, Alonso’s decision appears to have paid off. The new McLaren car, the MP4-22, looks the most impressive on-track, with Alonso topping most testing times. McLaren also appear to have overcome some of their reliability bug-bears and found some consistency.
When asked about the championship, Hill commented, “If I had to bet money on someone, it would be Alonso. However even Schumacher changed teams at a similar point in his career and didn’t win the title in the first year.”