'People overrate' Fernando Alonso says 1979 F1 champion Scheckter

One-time Formula 1 world champion Jody Scheckter believes people have overrated Fernando Alonso and says his divisive nature is "not the way to win world championships"

'People overrate' Fernando Alonso says 1979 F1 champion Scheckter

Alonso revealed on Tuesday that he will leave F1 at the end of the year but stopped short of calling it a retirement from grand prix racing.

The 2005 and 2006 champion, who has won 32 grands prix, was labelled a "legend" and an "F1 great" by his team boss Zak Brown in McLaren's announcement of Alonso's decision.

However, 1979 champion Scheckter told BBC Radio 5Live: "I like to just think how many championships somebody's won.

"You can rate people that they had bad luck and bad cars. I think people overrate him.

"One of his problems is he seems to upset teams and everybody around him. That's not the way to win world championships.

"You've got to work with your team and you're nearly a leader [as a driver]."

After the news broke, Felipe Massa tweeted that Alonso, his former Ferrari team-mate, was one of the best drivers on the planet, just days after he told Brazilian TV that he rated Alonso level with seven-time Michael Schumacher on talent.

However, in the same interview he said Alonso would end up "splitting the team in half" and "could have achieved much more" without this.

Scheckter referenced Massa's Schumacher comparison when speaking to the BBC and said: "For me, absolutely [they are] not [level].

"Schumacher has got to be rated as the best driver ever. Alonso I don't think he's in that category.

"[That's] not to say he's not a good driver. He's one of the top drivers there now."

Ex-F1 driver and Sky pundit Martin Brundle also referenced Alonso's divisive nature in a tweet posted in the aftermath of the announcement.

"I'll miss Fernando's fiery character and relentless speed," said Brundle. "Unfulfilled potential yet still huge achievements in F1.

"Needed somebody stronger than him around to control the destructive moments which prevented him being first choice for any team, but not sure such a person exists."

Several of Alonso's current rivals took to Twitter to pay tribute to his F1 career.

Renault driver Carlos Sainz Jr, a contender to replace Alonso at McLaren and a long-time fan of his countryman, tweeted: "We are gonna we miss you a lot @alo_oficial! My passion for this sport started thanks to you and I consider myself a very lucky guy to have shared four years of F1 racing with one of the best ever."

Sergio Perez called it "a pleasure" to race with him, while Alonso's former Renault team-mate Romain Grosjean said: "It has been a privilege and an honour being your friend, your team-mate and racing against you in F1."

shares
comments
Fernando Alonso hints he could return to Formula 1 after 2019

Previous article

Fernando Alonso hints he could return to Formula 1 after 2019

Next article

The fallout from Alonso's decision not to race in F1 in 2019

The fallout from Alonso's decision not to race in F1 in 2019
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021