Alonso: Hamilton is the strongest driver

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.

"Who is (the) strongest driver? My answer is Hamilton," Alonso said of his former adversary on Thursday. "It was true last year, it was true this year. The strongest driver? It is a personal opinion, not political, not to make people think something. Who is the strongest opponent, the strongest driver on grid? Who is the one you have to keep an eye on? It is Hamilton, and it will still be Hamilton next year."

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."

Although he appeared to overlook Vettel with his initial response, Alonso went on to explain that the Red Bull driver deserves all of the success he has enjoyed in recent years and believes the German will remain extremely difficult to beat.

"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."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 21 February 2017

  2. 18:22

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  3. Bell: RS17 'first real Renault' of new era 18:09

    Bell: RS17 'first real Renault' of new era

    The RS17 is the "first real Renault" of the manufacturer's latest spell as a works Formula 1 team, after a hurried return in…

    F1
  4. Force India finalises Barcelona test line-up 16:17

    Force India finalises Barcelona test line-up

    Force India has confirmed its full driver schedule for both pre-season test sessions, with development driver Alfonso Celis Jr.…

    F1
  5. Prost's new Renault role 'not day-to-day' 16:08

    Prost's new Renault role 'not day-to-day'

    Alain Prost has taken on an advisory role at Renault for the 2017 season, though the four-time World Champion stressed his…

    F1
  6. Juncos to enter car for Indianapolis 500 15:57

    Juncos to enter car for Indianapolis 500

    Indy Lights team Juncos Racing will step up to IndyCar this season after pledging to run a car at the Indianapolis…

    Indy
  7. Renault junior Aitken switches to ART 15:47

    Renault junior Aitken switches to ART

    Jack Aitken will switch to ART Grand Prix for his second season in GP3, having retained his position within the Renault Sport…

    GP3
  8. 15:44

    Gallery: Renault presents RS17 in London

    F1
  9. Renault targets fifth in 2017 standings 15:36

    Renault targets fifth in 2017 standings

    Renault has set its sights on securing fifth in the 2017 championship standings, after the manufacturer the RS17, to the public…

    F1
  10. Sirotkin set for more FP1 runs with Renault 15:33

    Sirotkin set for more FP1 runs with Renault

    Sergey Sirotkin is set to increase his involvement with the Renault Formula 1 team after being named as its official reserve…

    F1
  11. Renault unveils 2017 Formula 1 challenger 15:04

    Renault unveils 2017 Formula 1 challenger

    Renault has taken the wraps off its 2017 design, the RS17, which will be raced by Nico Hülkenberg and Jolyon Palmer, as the…

    F1
  12. 14:25

    Follow Renault's 2017 car launch live!

    F1
  13. Mawson steps up to European F3 with VAR 13:10

    Mawson steps up to European F3 with VAR

    Reigning ADAC Formula 4 champion Joey Mawson will graduate to European Formula 3 with Van Amersfoort Racing in 2017. Mawson…

    F3
  14. Giovinazzi 'very likely' to test for Sauber 12:55

    Giovinazzi 'very likely' to test for Sauber

    Antonio Giovinazzi is "very likely" to get pre-season running with Sauber at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, following…

    F1
  15. Ferrari confirms Vergne no longer tester 12:33

    Ferrari confirms Vergne no longer tester

    Jean-Éric Vergne is no longer a test driver at Ferrari, the team has confirmed to GPUpdate.net. Vergne joined Ferrari's…

    F1
  16. Rossi feels he has 'a big point to prove' 12:09

    Rossi feels he has 'a big point to prove'

    Alexander Rossi feels that he has "a big point to prove" on road and street tracks through the upcoming IndyCar season, after…

    Indy
  17. Video: Hildebrand visor cam at Sonoma 10:02

    Video: Hildebrand visor cam at Sonoma

    Take a few laps around Sonoma Raceway with Ed Carpenter Racing driver J. R. Hildebrand.

    Indy
  18. Magnussen: Improving on 2016 not a given 09:26

    Magnussen: Improving on 2016 not a given

    Haas newcomer Kevin Magnussen says improving on the team's 2016 results is not a "given", in spite of its increased experience…

    F1
  19. Horner: RBR has most exciting line-up 07:16

    Horner: RBR has most exciting line-up

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner reckons Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen represent the most exciting driver line-up…

    F1
  20. Video of the Day: Horner on 2017 season 05:00

    Video of the Day: Horner on 2017 season

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner looks ahead to the 2017 season and a new Formula 1 era.

    F1
  21. Monday 20 February 2017

  22. Video: Ricciardo onboard in Houston 15:42

    Video: Ricciardo onboard in Houston

    Go onboard with Daniel Ricciardo during his recent demo at ExxonMobil's HQ in Houston, Texas.

    F1
  23. 'Overtaking could be easier with 2017 cars' 13:32

    'Overtaking could be easier with 2017 cars'

    Red Bull's technical chiefs have suggested that Formula 1's new cars could create more overtaking opportunities than previous…

    F1
  24. Horner: Renault has had a 'big winter' 12:04

    Horner: Renault has had a 'big winter'

    Christian Horner is hopeful that his Red Bull team can be a "real challenger" in 2017, given the changes engine supplier Renault…

    F1
  25. Video: 2017 Formula 1 tyres explained 11:04

    Video: 2017 Formula 1 tyres explained

    Get the lowdown on Pirelli's 2017 Formula 1 tyres, and their expected impact, in this video from Mercedes.

    F1
  26. Kaltenborn: 'Great opportunities' at Sauber 11:01

    Kaltenborn: 'Great opportunities' at Sauber

    Monisha Kaltenborn reckons Sauber now has "great opportunities" to move back up the Formula 1 pecking order, following the…

    F1
  27. 10:54

    Gallery: Red Bull KTM MotoGP livery

    MotoGP
  28. KTM unveils livery for 2017 MotoGP entry 10:52

    KTM unveils livery for 2017 MotoGP entry

    KTM has formally unveiled its 2017 MotoGP bike and team during a presentation at its factory in Munderfing, ahead of its…

    MotoGP
  29. Hamilton: 'Zero problems' at Mercedes 10:30

    Hamilton: 'Zero problems' at Mercedes

    Lewis Hamilton has moved to clarify comments he made about data-sharing in Formula 1, insisting that he has "zero problems" with…

    F1
  30. Sauber presents new Formula 1 car 09:34

    Sauber presents new Formula 1 car

    Sauber has formally presented its 2017 Formula 1 challenger, the Ferrari-powered C36, in an online launch, to kick-start a busy…

    F1
  31. Wolff, Lauda extend deals through 2020 09:10

    Wolff, Lauda extend deals through 2020

    Mercedes has announced that Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have signed new contracts which will keep them with the World Champion…

    F1
  32. Di Resta to stay as Williams reserve driver 09:07

    Di Resta to stay as Williams reserve driver

    Paul di Resta will remain as Williams' reserve driver for the 2017 season. Di Resta, 30, joined Williams in a reserve role in…

    F1
  33. Ferrari youngsters join Prema in Formula 4 09:00

    Ferrari youngsters join Prema in Formula 4

    Ferrari Driver Academy members Enzo Fittipaldi and Marcus Armstrong will join Prema in Formula 4 in 2017, for their first…

    Misc
  34. Grosjean keen to utilise Pirelli wet running 07:56

    Grosjean keen to utilise Pirelli wet running

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean says gathering data from Pirelli's wet tyres during pre-season testing will be crucial, due to the…

    F1
  35. Video of the Day: Stroll on 2017 hopes 05:37

    Video of the Day: Stroll on 2017 hopes

    Canadian teenager Lance Stroll discusses his hopes for his rookie Formula 1 season with Williams.

    F1
  36. Sunday 19 February 2017

  37. Magnussen to get first taste of VF-17 15:35

    Magnussen to get first taste of VF-17

    Haas has confirmed its driver line-up for the pair of pre-season tests at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with new recruit…

    F1
  38. Hamilton: New Mercedes 'looks like a boat' 14:44

    Hamilton: New Mercedes 'looks like a boat'

    Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes' new Formula 1 challenger, the W08 Hybrid, "looks like a boat" due to the new regulations…

    F1
  39. 13:44

    Formula E standings after Buenos Aires

    FE
  40. Buemi relieved to overcome brake complaint 13:42

    Buemi relieved to overcome brake complaint

    Reigning Formula E champion Sébastien Buemi expressed his relief at overcoming a brake issue with his second car as he…

    FE
  41. Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights 12:14

    Video: Buenos Aires ePrix highlights

    Watch race highlights from the Buenos Aires ePrix, the third round of the 2016/17 Formula E championship.

    FE
  42. Hellmund: Brazil result led to Manor demise 11:25

    Hellmund: Brazil result led to Manor demise

    US-based Tavo Hellmund says that Manor falling out of the top 10 in the championship standings late last season ended his and…

    F1
  43. King confident of GP2 championship fight 10:14

    King confident of GP2 championship fight

    British racer Jordan King is confident that he can challenge for the GP2 championship in 2017 after committing to a third season…

    GP2
more news