Briatore: Alonso Better than Raikkonen

Flavio Briatore says there is no doubt that Fernando Alonso is the best driver in Formula One - despite McLaren boss Ron Dennis's claims that Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya are better

Briatore: Alonso Better than Raikkonen

Although Dennis said yesterday that Alonso had yet to prove himself as the sport's number one this season because he has driven conservatively for much of the year, Briatore has no doubts about the qualities of the new World Champion.

"He (Alonso) is 24 but at the wheel he has the wisdom of an 80-year-old," said Briatore in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is cooler than Schumacher was at the same age; Michael only became calculated over time. And Fernando is more mature than Kimi Raikkonen, today's rival. Fernando has made only one mistake this season, in Montreal."

When asked why he believed that Alonso was better than Raikkonen, Briatore claimed his man was much better in races - although he acknowledged that his McLaren rival had the edge in qualifying pace.

"He's able to manage races better than Kimi, and knows how to read the race in advance," said Briatore. "Most of all he knows how to convert his work into results. Speed-wise they are equal. In qualifying, on the other hand, Raikkonen has something more than Fernando, for now."

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