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fernando alonso and friends

Alonso: I am one of the best to have raced in F1

fernando alonso and friends

Fernando Alonso has never been one for self-doubt and now, amid another season of midfield mediocrity with McLaren, he has declared himself to be one of the best Formula 1 drivers to have raced at the highest level.

The Spaniard told reporters on the occasion of his 300th Grand Prix, in Montreal this weekend, “I am one of the best to have raced in F1.”

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“I am probably not the fastest driver in qualifying. I’m probably not the fastest driver in the race, or in wet conditions, but I am a 9.5 in all areas, and I try to benefit from that.”

Alonso along with one-time teammate Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are considered the best drivers of the past decade and a half.

He won back to back titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 but has since made some questionable career decisions over the past decade which are well documented and ultimately impacted his stats negatively.

He spent a controversy packed and forgettable year with McLaren in 2007 alongside Hamilton, before returning to Renault in 2010 to tread water until he was signed by Ferrari and began his tenure at Maranello in 2010.

The love affair got off to a great start with a debut win for Alonso with the Reds at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix. Thereafter Ferrari with the full focus on Alonso came close but were never able to take him to the elusive third world crown. The Italian team last won the championship with Kimi Raikkonen back in 2007.

Alonso then returned to McLaren in 2015 and has been with them through what has been the lowest spell in their illustrious history.

Alonso reminisced, “There are some opportunities missing. I could have won four or five championships, but at the same time I feel extremely privileged to have had 18 years in F1.”

“I have a lot of good memories. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but winning my two championships was definitely the high point.”

Alonso made his Formula 1 debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix and since then has made 297 starts, 22 of those from pole position from where he powered to victory on 32 occasions.

His win coming at the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, while a podium eludes him since Hungary in 2014.

In terms of F1 victories, Alonso lies sixth on the all-time list which is topped by Michael Schumacher on 91 grand prix wins, followed by Lewis Hamilton on 64, Alain Prost on 51, Sebastian Vettel on 40 and Ayrton Senna on 41

Big Question: Fernando one of the best to have raced in F1?