Alonso: The strongest in F1 was Michael Schumacher

Fernando Alonso with Michael Schumacher

Fernando Alonso with Michael Schumacher

In this third and final installment of an in-depth interview Fernando Alonso looks back on the legends of Formula 1, his teammates and toughest rivals of whom he considers Michael Schumacher the special one.

Who was your strongest rival outright?
Fernando Alonso: The strongest in Formula 1 was Michael [Schumacher]. In the years when I was starting in Formula 1. In 2001 he dominated and did so up until 2005 and he was on another level. With him it was never easy. Then I got the opportunity to race against him on equal terms for a few years and he was always able to do something special, something more than you were expecting or more than the car was capable of. So you always had to keep an eye on him.

If you could bring back one champion from the past in Formula 1 who would you like to race against even if you came off worse in the duel?
FA: There are so many great names in the history of Formula 1 and usually we talk of the great champions such as Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, those guys who raced in the past and we grew up while they were winning races. If I could I would battle with them and also in those old cars, the ones I played with as a kid when they were my heroes. Everyone would definitely like to see that.

Fernando Alonso versus Michael Schumacher was intense

Fernando Alonso versus Michael Schumacher was intense

Who is the strongest team-mate you have ever had?
FA: It’s a difficult question. They were all different, all had strong points and some not so strong, so I had a hard time with all of them in terms of performance and you have to give your maximum because they were ultra-competitive. I remember Trulli, his qualifying ability was the best I have ever come across among all my team mates. Then there was ‘Fisico’ Fisichella for two years in Renault where we won the Construtcors’ titles and he was always on it, in every race, in all conditions, a really complete driver. There was Massa and now Kimi and even in the past there were kids in go-karts who were super. So it’s not easy to choose one. All of them helped me and I learned a lot from them to do with various aspects, but they all had something special.

A driver whom you would have liked as a team mate but never had?
FA: That’s another tough question. I don’t know, beacuse I think I had the team mates that were there at the time. Definitely, I always had a good friendship with Kubica from go-kart times and maybe with him in Formula 1 we could have been together in the same team. But we will never know because we went in different directions.

Can Formula 1 drivers be friends? Does friendship exist in Formula 1?
FA: Yes there can be. But definitely not in a real sense, not in the way you have friends outside Formula 1 or friends from school that you have known a very long time. In Formula 1 the friendship isn’t forced but it is based on spending 300 days a year together and in the end, you begin to share things that are not only related to work but are also personal and that creates a friendly relationship.