Fernando Alonso makes strong Lewis Hamilton statement in Valtteri Bottas comparison

F1: Hamilton reflects on 'unbelievable' achievements

Fernando Alonso has revealed his belief that Lewis Hamilton is the best driver in the Formula One paddock ahead of the Spaniard’s return to the sport next year. The 39-year-old will drive for Alpine in 2021, replacing Daniel Ricciardo who is set to join Britain’s Lando Norris at McLaren.

Hamilton scooped his seventh driver’s championship title this year and will be gunning for an eighth next season in order to break Michael Schumacher’s remarkable record.

Alonso has backed his former teammate to make the most of his opportunity to cement his place as the greatest Formula One driver in history, claiming that the Mercedes man remains at the top of his game despite having entered the twilight years of his career.

“Okay, he has a dominant car, but he’s better than his teammate,” Alonso told Marca.

“You always have to show up, he can’t afford a bad weekend, he’s at the peak of his performance. Hopefully, we can fight Lewis soon, not next year, but soon.

“I think a lot of people can win a Grand Prix with that car and they can win championships in that car. That doesn’t mean anything bad about Lewis like I said, he’s one step ahead.

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“How important is the car? What is it like to be in the right place at the right time? It is very important. This is Formula 1 and it has always been like that, but when you are in that place and at that moment, you have to perform and Lewis does it better than anyone.”

Alonso is preparing to begin his second spell with the team formerly known as Renault after winning back-to-back world championships during his first stint with the French outfit in 2005 and 2006.

Despite his age, he has claimed that he feels better than ever ahead of his return to the sport and is aiming to help his team improve on their haul of three podiums in 2020.

“I am not worried about anything on my return. I think I am more mature than ever,” the Spaniard continued.

“The physical tests show that I am as fit as I was in 2010. I have analysed the way I was driving to correct any defects, my speed has remained intact and the experiences at Le Mans and Indy gave me very useful data.

“What am I afraid of? Maybe a calendar with 23 races. It becomes heavy. It means having about 20 days off a year.

“Renault has achieved three podiums in 2020. I would like to improve that. Next year I would like something more,” he added.

“I think we have the talent, the factory and the ambition. [We must keep] our feet on the ground because we are competing with very large manufacturers and very large organisations, so we are going to have to do our best.”

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