Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Monday, January 11.
Monday morning's Formula 1 news roundup
Fernando Alonso can add a third title to his tally on his return to Formula 1.
That is the view of Pedro de la Rosa, a fellow Spaniard who worked with Alonso at both McLaren and Ferrari.
After a two-year sabbatical, 39-year-old Alonso is now returning to F1 with Alpine in 2021.
"Fernando loves Formula 1," de la Rosa told Movistar.
"The last few years he spent outside of Formula 1 taught him to appreciate the sport, so his return is generally very positive both for him as well as for Formula 1."
De la Rosa, 49, said news of Alonso's return has fired up a new wave of excitement in Spain.
"He can win another world title and that has caused a lot of excitement," he said. "Everything was a bit sad before his return.
"The people didn't care about Formula 1, because there wasn't a Spaniard who could win."
There is "no reason to question" Valtteri Bottas' place at Mercedes, boss Toto Wolff insists.
Speculation the Finn might be ousted accelerated when he was out-shone by Lewis Hamilton's substitute George Russell in Bahrain.
Even seven time world champion Hamilton has told GP Racing magazine that Russell's recent performances reminded him of what Fernando Alonso did at Minardi in 2001.
"There are several drivers who are the future of the sport and he's one of them," Hamilton said.
"I have no doubt that he has the potential to be a champion."
However, team boss Wolff is speaking up for Bottas, who is signed up for 2021.
"He's performing at a very high level," he insisted. "There's no reason to question him when he shows such fantastic weekends with a top performance.
"Valtteri has had more low blows than he deserved. They were not due to a lack of performance, but simply down to bad luck.
"I think he could have had a handful more victories and then the championship would have been open for much, much longer," Wolff added.
More news from Formula 1:
Ferrari academy drivers 'all had money' - Villeneuve
Jacques Villeneuve says members of Ferrari's driver development program would succeed even without the backing of the Maranello-based 'academy'. Read more.
Jos Verstappen says Red Bull 'maybe worse than Ferrari'
Jos Verstappen admits that his son Max will probably never share a team with Lewis Hamilton - but he "wouldn't mind" if it does happen. Read more.