Fernando Alonso names biggest F1 rival | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 January, Saturday


Fernando Alonso names biggest F1 rival

Fernando Alonso says Michael Schumacher remains his greatest F1 rival but feels the level of competition has got tougher

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Fernando Alonso says Michael Schumacher will remain his greatest Formula 1 rival but feels the level of competition grew tougher throughout his career.

Alonso waves goodbye to F1 this year as he prepares for his Indianapolis 500 return along with the final rounds of the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship next year.

During an emotional final race weekend in Abu Dhabi, the two-time F1 world champion was quizzed on his greatest rival driver and immediately picked out seven-time champion Schumacher.

Alonso dethroned the German driver when he clinched his maiden world crown in 2005 and saw Schumacher as the top level to beat throughout the early years of his career.

“It’s difficult to choose one, obviously, if I have to say one, it will be Michael,” Alonso said. “Not because any particular reason it was just because when I got to Formula 1 Michael was dominating the sport. [When] you are in go-karts and you see Michael winning, you are different categories, you see Michael winning, and then eventually you find yourself fighting [him] wheel-to-wheel.

“So, those battles were definitely special, or more emotional at that time. I think we had, and probably have right now, the most talented generation. Because all drivers now they are more prepared.”

Alonso explained the standards of F1 drivers have improved greatly during his time in the sport given the more in-depth preparation younger drivers gain during their junior category racing. The majority of F1 rookies are signed up as junior or development drivers before become a full-time race driver and receive F1-level training, simulator and testing experience.

“They get more time in the simulator, in different young driver programmes, so they go to Formula 1 with a level that was unthinkable a decade or two decades ago,” he said. “It was a good journey and I have to choose one, maybe Michael – but just for emotional reasons not for any technical aspects.”

 

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