Andretti talks Merc and Alonso

Monday 14-April-2014 09:02

Mario Andretti says Mercedes are right to let their drivers race and that Ferrari risk losing Fernando Alonso unless they up the pace.

Last time out in Bahrain, Mercedes gifted Formula 1 fans with a showpiece as the Brackley outfit allowed Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to fight for the victory, at times racing side-by-side.

Mercedes later stated that as long as they kept it clean, they would always allow their drivers to race.

Weighing in on that decision, 1978 World Champ Andretti told "That's a good move, especially early on in the season.

"If it's the last three races or something... if both have a mathematical chance you've got to let them race.

"The only time you would protect one is if the other does not have a mathematical chance, then team orders should come into play.

"But it looks to me like they're both going to steal points off each other throughout the season. So it's going to be a question of who will be number two!"

The American also gave his views on Ferrari's continued struggles and reckons unless they up the pace, Alonso will be looking elsewhere at the end of this season.

"I wouldn't be surprised, quite honestly," he said when asked about the possibility.

"He's still at the top of his game and he cannot afford to lose too many seasons. So I'm sure if the proper opportunity comes up he'll consider it.

"When Lewis made the decision to go to Mercedes, lots of people were saying, 'What the hell is he thinking?' But look at what has happened. You never know what the next opportunity could be at the very top.

"And once [Alonso] becomes free of the contract [with Ferrari] I'm sure he'll get plenty of calls to consider."

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