Experience may help Hamilton

Experience may help Hamilton

Ex-champion Alonso says deserving winners and wishes them the best of luck

By James Jose (Senior Reporter)

Published: Sat 22 Nov 2014, 1:33 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 10:52 PM

Abu Dhabi — Lewis Hamilton has been in such a situation thrice before in his F1 career, while Nico Rosberg finds himself in it for the very first time. The Mercedes teammates go head-to-head in the championship decider at the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit over this weekend.

And while Hamilton is wiser from those previous experiences, it is a new experience for Rosberg. It could be argued that Hamilton has a bit of an edge over Rosberg because of that but whatever the situation, a title tilt can weigh down on anyone. They are under intense pressure and none can understand better than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso has been in such a situation five times and has come away with two world titles. Vettel, too has been there and has the better of it with four titles to his name. And the duo had different perspectives for Hamilton and Rosberg on how to handle the pressure.

Alonso said that it depended on various factors and also the vagaries of nature, while Vettel kept it simple by telling the two to just go out there and enjoy it.

“I think every situation is different. I’ve been in it a couple of times, five times in that situation, actually. All five were different. It depends on whether you are in front, behind, with who you are battling, with which mood you arrive to the race. It depends on the circuit; it depends on anything. I remember Brazil, for example 2012, it was raining on Sunday morning, there are different factors around the race itself that it can change your approach or can change your feelings. I think it’s a very unique thing on those moments and it will be an interesting weekend for Nico and Lewis,” said Alonso.

And the Spaniard said both were deserving winners and wished them the best of luck. “I wish them the best of luck because they deserve it after a super championship. You know, only one can win but let’s see a good race on Sunday,” added Alonso, who is departing Ferrari after this race.

Vettel though said that the most important thing was to enjoy the drive. “Well, it’s what you’re working for all year, to arrive at the last race and still have the opportunity to become world champion. I think that’s ultimately what drives all of us. So, yeah, I think the most important thing is to enjoy,” said the German, who will replace Alonso at Ferrari.

Alonso had faced a four-way battle with Vettel, the now retired Mark Webber and Hamilton here in Abu Dhabi in 2010 and lost out after he was stuck behind Vitaly Petrov’s Renault for a number of laps. Asked if he had any advice if Hamilton and Rosberg were in that situation, Alonso replied in the negative. “Not really. I didn’t succeed, so try not to repeat what we did in that race. That will be the best solution for them. These days, there are many tools that we can play with, with electric motor, DRS, things that probably could help in a situation like that. But the best thing is not to stop behind anyone,” Alonso said.

Vettel joked that Mercedes’ domination made the season very boring but echoed Alonso by saying that Hamilton and Rosberg both deserve it. “Well, I think Mercedes made it very boring this year,” he said.

“I think it’s good to see that they were battling very closely, they had great races, battling for the lead, which is obviously the most interesting position in the race for the people to watch. Remembering races like Bahrain, I think they put on a great show for the fans and took it to the last race. So, I think both of them deserve to win after such a great season but I’m sure if you ask either one of them, they will give you plenty of reasons why each one is more deserving than the other,” added Vettel.


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