It is safe to say that things did not quite play out the way that Sebastian Vettel would have wanted in 2018.
Having started the campaign with back-to-back wins and with a lot of optimism around the Ferrari camp, a mixture of mistakes from Vettel and his team resulted in an inconsistent second half to the season, with Vettel having to settle for the runner-up prize.
Vettel has been subject to a lot of criticism for the collapse him and his team suffered, but Fernando Alonso has come out in support of his former competitor.
Responding to the statement that he would have won the championship had he been in Vettel’s car, the 37-year-old Spaniard said: “These are difficult predictions," per Planet F1.
“Who is ahead, fighting to win and always has everything to lose. And everyone is wrong.
“Perhaps he lost important points but Hamilton also lost them and Vettel did much better than Raikkonen, he fought until the end. He is a champion.
“When he won four World titles everyone spoke of him as a phenomenon and now the same happens with Hamilton. The truth is that it’s never easy when you’ve got such massive attention and pressure on you.”
Alonso has brought an end to a sparkling 18-year Formula One career, in which he claimed two championships, with an 11th placed campaign finish and has now turned his attention to watching the sport, highlighting two racers he is excited to see in the 2019 season.
“Robert Kubica. His story is unbelievable. Up until a few months ago Robert seemed to have lost all possibility. He will drive like he has nothing to lose because that is the case.
“Then there is Leclerc at Ferrari. He’s young, intelligent and talented. Learn to score points, to help the team, to know that the title is only decided between July and September.
“Do not be in a hurry and control his excitement and emotion.”
Alonso also commented on Mercedes’ dominance in recent years.
Hamilton’s latest victory meant that a Mercedes driver has now won the last five championships, but Alonso thinks that 2019 could be the year that changes.
“I’m curious to see if Mercedes’ dominance will end. I feel the moment is near.”