Max Verstappen warned over Lewis Hamilton title bid by Fernando Alonso – ‘You always lose’

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Fernando Alonso has warned Max Verstappen that he could still come up short in this year’s battle for Drivers’ Championship glory with Lewis Hamilton. The Red Bull man currently leads his British rival by just 17 points going into the final three races of the season in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Verstappen has been embroiled in a closely-fought scrap with Hamilton since the beginning of the campaign, with Red Bull having been able to match or better Mercedes in terms of pace for the vast majority of proceedings.

However, he was denied the race victory last time out at the Brazilian Grand Prix despite leading the rest of the field for almost 60 laps.

Hamilton mounted a remarkable charge to eventually pip Verstappen to the chequered flag despite starting the race from 10th on the grid.

The superior straight-line speed of his Mercedes car allowed the 36-year-old to pass the Dutchman with relative ease at the second time of asking during the closing stages of the race.

Mercedes will be hoping to use their positive momentum to their advantage in Qatar this weekend as Hamilton looks to close the gap on Verstappen at the top of the standings.

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It seems as though either man could be lifting the Drivers’ Championship trophy at the end of the season, but Alonso has already given his unequivocal backing to Mercedes.

He told Speedweek that it will be nigh-on impossible for Verstappen and Red Bull to beat their German rivals, who have dominated the sport for the last seven years, to glory this time around.

“As a driver, it’s like playing basketball and there’s one basket for you and one for the others,” said Alonso.

“They score their points with a bigger basket and you have to score yours with a smaller one, so you always lose.

“I am lucky to have won two championships and I was privileged to have been in that position. I was also at Toyota in the WEC and had that kind of superiority in the car.

“But I just imagine young children watching this sport and seeing one car pass two others in the straight line. We shouldn’t let them lose hope that they can be champions.

“We are all as committed to the sport. We train a lot, we work in the simulator, we risk our lives every time.

“But we’re still one lap behind [Mercedes] in every race, and we know before we even go to Qatar. It’s really the only sport in which something like this happens.”

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In spite of Alonso’s frustrations over the straight-line speed of the Mercedes cars, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari has insisted that Hamilton’s stunning win in Brazil cannot be solely attributed to the machinery beneath him.

The Monegasque driver claimed earlier this week that Hamilton was simply unbeatable in Sao Paulo and fully deserved the race victory thanks to his elite display of skill behind the wheel.

“Of course Mercedes and Red Bull have a strong car at the moment but what Lewis has shown this weekend, I think is going over what a car can give,” said Leclerc.

“He has done a really impressive performance. So yeah, fair play to him. To win after everything that happened to him this weekend is a great achievement.

“I think that should be seen outside of the of the car performance. I think he just did a great job.”

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