Queried after his final F1 race on who he would name as his greatest F1 rival, Fernando Alonso chose a driver with whom he shared “special and emotional” battles.
The fact that Alonso selected Michael Schumacher was hardly a surprise given that the Spaniard had been the one who had halted the great German’s hegemony when he clinched his first world title in 2005.
Alonso, driving for Renault, had defeated Schumacher after the Ferrari driver’s extraordinary run of five consecutive world championships.
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“It’s difficult to choose one, obviously, if I have to say one, it will be Michael,” Alonso said, as quoted by Crash.net.
“Not because any particular reason it was just because when I got to Formula 1 Michael was dominating the sport.
“[When] you are in go-karts and you see Michael winning, you are different categories, you see Michael winning, and then eventually you find yourself fighting [him] wheel-to-wheel.
“So, those battles were definitely special, or more emotional at that time.”
Alonso, who conquered the last of his 32 wins in F1 at Barcelona in 2013, believes the current crop of Grand Prix drivers is equally as good as the one that raced during the dominant Schumacher era, although perhaps for different reasons.
“I think we had, and probably have right now, the most talented generation. Because all drivers now they are more prepared,” he explained.
“They get more time in the simulator, in different young driver programmes, so they go to Formula 1 with a level that was unthinkable a decade or two decades ago.
“It was a good journey and I have to choose one, maybe Michael – but just for emotional reasons not for any technical aspects.”
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