Feb.8 (GMM) Mark Webber has delivered a ringing endorsement of Fernando Alonso's return to Renault for 2008 -- and questioned whether Lewis Hamilton can have as good a season.
Webber, who last year was often spotted in jovial conversation with former double world champion Alonso, recently wondered aloud if Hamilton, the Spaniard's 2007 teammate, was a "five-minute phenomenon".In contrast, Australian Webber, who drives for Red Bull Racing, thinks Alonso is a rock-solid horse to bet on -- particularly as he has now moved out of his unhappy situation as Hamilton's teammate at McLaren."All great sports men and women do have chinks and we've seen that last year," he told Sportal."He's incredibly driven and competitive, you don't last long at this level unless you are. He'll be back very strong next year and don't forget the guy (Michael Schumacher) he beat to two world championships was pretty handy," Webber added.As for Hamilton, the British sensation who at the end of his rookie season ended equal on points with Alonso, Webber thinks the jury is out as to whether the 23-year-old can have an equally impressive campaign in 2008."(It's a) great team and Heikki (Kovalainen) looks like he's doing well in testing again," Webber observed."I think it will be more balanced inside Woking this year and that will help Lewis again in terms of not having to worry about some of the internal stuff. But also it's his second year and inevitably there's a bit more pressure on," he said.