The jury is out as to whether F1’s reigning back to back world champion is as good as Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. That is the suggestion of Ferrari driver Alonso, who said the final test for dominant Red Bull driver Vettel, 24, is to prove he can regularly haul a less-than-perfect car to the top of the podium.
The Spaniard was asked by the Diario Sport newspaper if he agrees with Pedro de la Rosa’s recent assessment that only Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are able to win races in something other than the best car in the field.
“We have seen two do it, for the third it is yet to be seen,” said Alonso. “We will see when he has a car good enough to be sixth and he gets it to be second, third or fourth. Until now we have only seen him in a car that can win the championship with five grands prix to go.
“So we have to wait.”
As for Ferrari, Alonso said the Italian team has been learning over the past year how to develop a car as rapidly as his 2007 employer, McLaren.
“McLaren is a good example,” he admitted, “of a team that can start a year with any problem and resolve it in a couple of races. “Pat Fry has brought new ideas, new methods and I have not the slightest doubt that Ferrari is much better today than it was a year ago.”