Alonso: Hamilton is the strongest driver
17 January 2013 – Fernando Alonso has described ex-McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the 'strongest driver' in Formula 1 at present, despite Sebastian Vettel's string of world titles. The Ferrari man, who is preparing for his fourth season with the team, believes the 2008 World Champion will be a massive on-track threat this year.
Alonso, who was speaking at Ferrari's annual Wrooom event at the Madonna di Campiglio ski resort in Italy, has warned that although Hamilton is at a team which has won just one race in three seasons, his skills should not be underestimated.
Alonso is also certain that Hamilton will be able to win races with the Silver Arrows in 2013, backing the 28-year-old to shine alongside German team-mate Nico Rosberg.
"I am sure he will be able to win (races)," said Alonso, who missed out on the 2012 title by just three points. "Mercedes already won last year with Nico and Lewis has been winning races with all cars. Even in 2009 with a car that was two seconds off the pace, they ended the year winning. Lewis will be able to win with Mercedes as well."
"I am not saying he is not the strongest driver," he said, when asked why Vettel was not ranked as his biggest rival ahead of the upcoming season. "In 2011, there were fantastic performances from him. It is true the car was far in front of everybody, they (Red Bull) were first and second consistently, and when the car is good you tend to relax in some races.
"But I remember difficult races in 2011 with wet to dry conditions, and he did not make a single mistake. So for sure in these past three years there were moments when he was better than anybody else and he deserved these three championships."