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Alonso sees Schumacher as biggest threat in 2011

ESPNF1 Staff
January 13, 2011 « Ecclestone letter rules out Rome GP | »
Fernando Alonso leads test driver Jules Bianchi down the slopes at Ferrari's media event Wrooom © Sutton Images

Fernando Alonso has named Michael Schumacher as his most dangerous rival ahead of the start of testing for the 2011 season.

Alonso lost out to Sebastian Vettel in the 2010 championship race, with Schumacher finishing his comeback year back in ninth and without a single podium finish. However, when asked who he sees as his biggest threat for title glory this season, Alonso was adamant it was Schumacher.

"There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael," he said at Ferrari's media event Wrooom. "Now in January if I have to choose one name I have to say Michael. He is a seven-time champion, he has nothing to prove, he had a difficult season but he is still a champion. He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender."

However, he did admit that Vettel would come back even stronger in 2011 and that the McLaren pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could not be ruled out.

"No doubt Sebastian will be a contender, he will have experience and will be calm in certain moments," Alonso added. "He will drive better than last year and that makes him dangerous to us. McLaren will also be one of the favourites."

When asked if he thought 20 races in a season was too much, Alonso towed the Ferrari party line and said less restriction on in-season testing plus a full calendar would be ideal.

"I like 20 races, I like racing, competing so to have more races is welcome," he said. "But I also like testing so I'd like 20 races and more testing. It's not easy and it's unfair for new drivers that they cannot test more."