How great is Fernando Alonso? F1 fans give their verdicts

Fernando Alonso's travails at the back of the Formula 1 grid with the failed McLaren-Honda project are well documented, but he is still considered one of the best drivers

How great is Fernando Alonso? F1 fans give their verdicts

Since winning his two world titles in 2005 and '06 he has suffered a barren run of 11 seasons, and thanks to sub-par machinery he hasn't even won a race since 2013.

Autosport's Nigel Roebuck told Motorsport.tv's weekly programme The Flying Lap that Alonso is the best driver of the 21st century, and that a surprise answer from Felipe Massa solidified his opinion.

"It's been terribly sad that you wouldn't even know he's in the races," said Roebuck to host Peter Windsor.

"I think Fernando is the greatest driver of this century and I've thought that for a dozen years.

"It registered with me when I asked Massa: 'Michael [Schumacher] or Fernando, who's better?' And he said Fernando."

F1 fans have been debating whether Alonso deserves to be considered the best as Roebuck says, and here is a selection of comments from the Autosport Forum:

Ricardo F1: I love Alonso, he's massively talented and absolutely up there. But Roebuck ignores the elephant in the room. He got beaten by a rookie [Lewis Hamilton]. Probably the best rookie ever, but still, it happened.

PassWind: Sebastien Loeb, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie Whincup, Tom Kristensen, each of them sustaining focus and their winning ways. Schumacher, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are the best of the century so far in F1, of those flip your fan coin and choose, each of them are worthy as focused and above average winners.

Join the Alonso debate on the Autosport Forum

Gareth: I'd almost forgotten hearing about how Alonso made Renault a championship-capable team, then did the same at McLaren, and how this proved how great he was. A decade ago, that was all the rage. That seems to have fallen by the wayside, what with the predominant narrative now being 11 years of him being handed cars that weren't good enough to mount a championship challenge, but thanks for the reminder.

robefc: It's strange with Alonso (and F1 in general) in that the events since 2013 seem to have elevated him in a lot of people's minds more so than Lewis. Doing subjectively very well in a terrible car versus stacking up wins in a dominant car appears to have enhanced the former's reputation more than the latter in some minds.

Comparing performance in F1 is probably even more futile than other sports (Messi v Ronaldo etc), it's literally impossible to separate car and driver performance, there's only ever one other reference and it's not fixed.

Dicun: It's always tough to state who is the greatest. At the end of the day it purely comes down to personal preference. I've long considered him to be the best overall package on the grid, but that's just a personal opinion of course. My reason for this is that no matter what aspect of driving/racing we look at, Alonso is in the top three in every possible category.

I consider him the absolute best in the following categories: starts, first-lap moves, racecraft and possibly race pace too. His overtaking and defensive skills are second to none too.

ZOne: I agree Alonso is the best. When judging his "lack of results", in my opinion, it has to be considered how long periods dominated by one team has become the norm instead of the exception.

I think McLaren Honda 1988-91 was the first streak of four consecutive world driver championships for one team. It took nine years until Ferrari's period of domination started. But since 2010 there was four consecutive titles for Red Bull, then it was three for Mercedes with basically no other team standing a chance.

So the argument about Alonso's lack of results basically boils down to: he didn't get the Mercedes seat instead of Hamilton.

shares
comments
Haas F1 team hopes Singapore Grand Prix marks end of 'struggles'

Previous article

Haas F1 team hopes Singapore Grand Prix marks end of 'struggles'

Next article

Kimi Raikkonen hits out at Ferrari F1 2017 title chance sceptics

Kimi Raikkonen hits out at Ferrari F1 2017 title chance sceptics
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021