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Alonso warns Vettel: Don’t underestimate F1 comeback

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Comeback” seems to be the buzzword in Formula 1 these days, with recently retired Sebastian Vettel not ruling out a return to the grid in the future but warned by Fernando Alonso to think twice.

Quitting at 36, while around him F1 is attracting drivers of Vettel’s generation cannot have gone unnoticed to the four-time F1 World Champ. Looking around he will see Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo… all Comeback Kids Old Boys. As is, of course, the Comeback King of this era, Fernando Alonso who at 42 is driving rings around rivals almost half his age.

While Vettel went about saving the planet, sailing without horsepower and other projects retired WDCs get involved in, thrilling, no doubt, but interests that appear unable to compete with the allure of F1. However think before you leap is advice from Alonso, the man who replaced him at Aston Martin.

With word of Vettel opening the door to a return to F1, journos in Singapore tapped up Alonso for comment on the matter, he ventured: “It’s up to him, obviously, if he thinks about it. As I said, I think when Daniel came back, it was a challenge, coming back to F1 cannot be underestimated. And yes, it could be a challenge for sure.

Inevitably Alonso’s longevity in the sport was also brought up because, at the Singapore Grand Prix, he is poised to become the first F1 driver to complete 100,000 km Grand Prix race laps. The incredible milestone will be reached on lap 16 of the race at Marina Bay Circuit on Sunday.

Asked about the achievement, Alonso said: “That’s race kilometres. They never count every practice, qualifying or testing. So I remember the first year of testing in 2002 when I was a test driver, I did 40,000 km in that season alone.

“If you put all the numbers together, they’re a lot of laps. Hopefully, we see the chequered flag on Sunday. Let’s see the next few years and how many more laps I complete,” added the Spaniard, who is competing in his 371st Grand Prix this weekend.

Notably, in April, when it emerged that Aston Martin had a bullet of a car which Alonso used to good (and podium) effect, Vettel commented: “I have no regrets about stepping down. Of course, it would be easier if the car wasn’t quite as good now, but that’s where the joy really outweighs the regret.

“Also for Alonso. He had a few years where he didn’t have a good car and so maybe he’s having a second spring,” added the German, perhaps with his own ‘second spring’ seeding in his mind.