Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Alonso Challenges Vettel and More

Fraser MasefieldContributor IDecember 30, 2013

Formula 1's Latest Rumours and Talk: Alonso Challenges Vettel and More

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    Alonso has challenged Vettel to win in another car
    Alonso has challenged Vettel to win in another carClive Mason/Getty Images

    With the health of Michael Schumacher at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it seems almost trivial to talk about anything else in Formula One, but try we must.

    Amongst today’s other talking points, Fernando Alonso has questioned Sebastian Vettel’s standing as a legend of the sport, Alain Prost talks enthusiastically about a new turbo era and Niki Lauda says reliability will be the key to success in 2014.

Alonso Lays Down Challenge to Vettel

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Sebastian Vettel will only go down as a true legend of the sport if he wins a world title in a less competitive car.

    That is the opinion of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, the man who many view as the most complete driver in the sport.

    While racing what was arguably a lesser machine, Alonso won back-to-back titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 against the might of Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen’s McLaren.

    While Vettel has won four world titles on the trot, Alonso feels that it is only because he has the outstanding car of the field.

    Alonso is quoted on GrandPrix.com:

    I think when Vettel has a car like the rest in the field, if he wins, he will be greatly acknowledged and be one of the legends of Formula One.

    But if someday he has a car like that of the other drivers and is fourth, fifth or seventh, then his four titles will be bad news for him because people will view these last four years in an even worse way. I think there are some interesting years ahead for Sebastian.

New Turbo Era Fascinates Prost

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    Prost says he would like to drive the 2014 cars
    Prost says he would like to drive the 2014 carsMark Thompson/Getty Images

    Former four-time world champion Alain Prost has admitted he would enjoy the challenge of driving in Formula One’s new turbo era.

    Prost won three of his four titles when turbos were the norm and next year’s regulations see a switch back to turbo power in the form of V6 engines with massive Energy Recovery Systems.

    "We're going back the essence of competition, which we had lost a little over the past years," he is quoted as saying by France's AutoHebdo.fr via GrandPrix247.com.

    "For the past few seasons, I have never said 'It would be nice to be driving now,' but for 2014, I really would like to be."

Lauda: Reliability the Key to 2014

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    Niki Lauda talks to Nico Rosberg
    Niki Lauda talks to Nico RosbergClive Rose/Getty Images

    Staying on the theme of the new engine regulation changes for 2013, another four-time world champion thinks reliability will be the key to success.

    Few know how reliable the new V6 turbo units will be at the start of the season, with the huge ERS units providing significant heat and energy that needs to be cooled.

    Talking to Autosport, Niki Lauda, a Mercedes non-executive director, said that the initial aim will be to prioritise reliability over speed.

    Nobody knows. But the target has to be reliability. Who has the most reliable piece of engine, gearbox and car will win the championship. Next year is not speed, it is reliability. It is what we all have to work for.

    It is a big challenge and a big opportunity to go ahead again. But this challenge is on the side of the engine, gearbox and car so I think it is a different thing to the last couple of years. I am looking forward to it.