Fernando Alonso is one of the most experienced drivers that Formula 1 currently has on its starting grid. Since he reached the top category of motorsport, he had the luck to race with or against drivers like Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, among many others. The Asturian driver was champion in the 2005 and 2006 season with Renault, and was in contention for the 2012 championship at least, only this time with Ferrari. If we talk about experience, Alonso takes first place. He was able to defeat multiple world champions, however, in an exclusive interview for the website called “RacingNews365,” the current Alpine driver admitted that he would not like to compete against Verstappen at Red Bull.
Anyone who knows anything about Formula 1 admits that the Dutch Red Bull driver is one of the best drivers out there, and also one of the hardest to beat. When Max Verstappen was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in 2016, Daniel Ricciardo was his teammate. From day one on the Austrian team, the Dutchman showed that he had potential, so much so that he won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, which was his first race with Red Bull. Little by little he adapted even more to his car until he was having better results than Ricciardo. The Australian left the team at the end of 2018, so Red Bull decided to promote Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly to the senior team, which was a complete disaster. Having crashed twice during the preseason, Gasly could never match or even come close to the Dutchman's pace and results. Dr. Helmut Marko didn't think twice and mid-season demoted him back to Toro Rosso to give his seat to rookie Alex Albon, who was also hugely beaten by Max.
With the experiences of his two teammates prior to the current one (Sergio Perez), Max has earned a reputation as the toughest teammate to defeat. While it is true that Verstappen has more time with Red Bull cars, no teammate - after Ricciardo - has been able to match his pace. This is why Fernando Alonso commented that he would not like to compete against him.
“At the moment, he’s the only one that I will not be happy to maybe compete [with]”. Alonso assured.
“I respect Max a lot. At the moment, in the Red Bull environment with his team, with his experience there, I don’t think that many drivers can join Red Bull and beat Max. If you took Max out of Red Bull, maybe you [would] have a better chance.”
As already mentioned, Alonso has had the privilege of driving with many successful drivers in his Formula 1 career, including seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Asturian was his teammate when the British entered the category. Alonso knows how to fight Hamilton and he knows how he drives, but despite this, Fernando admitted that Verstappen is the best driver in F1 right now.
“I think he [Verstappen] is on top of the game at the moment, I consider him the best in the paddock right now.” The Spaniard stated.
“His improvement was very noticeable in the first couple of years. He started already at a high level but, sometimes, making a few accidents here and there, maybe too much aggression in some of the movements and things like that.” The two-time world champion commented. “Now, I think he reached a level of maturity that is very high and, with his natural speed, it becomes quite difficult to beat him for anyone. So I think he’s the favourite for this year and probably for the years to come.”