Fernando Alonso’s switch to McLaren from title-winning comfort at Renault is “brave” but exciting, according to the world champion of 1996.
46-year-old Damon Hill, who won his drivers’ title at the wheel of a dominant Renault-powered Williams, said Alonso’s decision demonstrated that he is a Valentino Rossi-style racer.
“It’s a gamble,” Briton Hill told the Spanish newspaper ‘Marca’, “but he wants to demonstrate his contribution to a team.
“When you are with a successful team for a long time people can start to think that your achievements are a product of the car rather than the driver.
“Fernando wants to show that he can win with a different team, just like (multiple MotoGP champion) Rossi did by changing to Yamaha.
“Yes, it’s a big risk, but I think it is the best way to demonstrate true quality.”
Alonso has enjoyed a near-perfect start to his new McLaren tenure, as widespread observers agree that the new MP4-22 is so far the most impressive car for 2007, which appears also to be an improvement in terms of reliability.
Hill went on: “If I had to bet money on someone (to win the championship in 2007), it would be Alonso. However, even (Michael) Schumacher changed teams at a similar point in his career and did not win the title in the first year.”