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F1 news: Fernando Alonso warns Lewis Hamilton with fresh claim ahead of 2018 season

Mercedes have been dominant for the last four years and their driver Lewis Hamilton was the latest to claim the Drivers’ Championship in 2017.

But McLaren rival Alonso is hoping to upset the odds and challenge at the top end of the grid this time around.

The Spaniard has not ended a season as world champion since his last success with Renault in 2006.

But he is hoping to add to his two championships with a strong showing in 2018.

“I said I was going to win and I’ll say the same thing, that I’ll win it this year,” Alonso told Spanish newspaper AS.

“We’re going to be much more competitive. I don’t know how much. 

“Last year Red Bull looked like they were going to be strong due to the change in the rules and yet they had a slow start.

“[Max] Verstappen was forced to abandon a few races, they had less laps than us halfway through the year and for the expectations on Red Bull, that’s a big blow.

“You always get asked if you are going to have a car… but if you start badly, it’s a huge comedown so we can’t anticipate anything. 

“What I can say is that expectations are higher now than they have been during the past three years. 

“The atmosphere at the factory is more positive, everyone is determined to go that extra bit further because we all want to be much more competitive and I think we will be.”

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