Fernando Alonso names his greatest ever rival over storied F1 career

Sam Cooper
Fernando Alonso arrives in the paddock. Melbourne Australia 2023.

Aston Martin Fernando Alonso zips up his jacket as he arrives in the paddock. Australia March 2023.

Of the many drivers he has raced against, Fernando Alonso has chosen the one he believes was his greatest rival.

Alonso is currently competing in his 20th season of Formula 1 and over time has driven against some of the best drivers to ever take part in the sport.

He has been team-mates to four World Champions and thanks to his 2005 and 2006 world titles, he is one of three champions on this year’s grid.

But of the many names he has raced against, Alonso picked arguably the greatest of them all as his biggest rival: Michael Schumacher.

It was against Schumacher that Alonso would win his titles, becoming the first driver since 1999 to beat the enigmatic German.

“It is difficult to choose one because they were all great rivals and very talented drivers as well,” he said in an interview with Aston Martin sponsor Bang & Olufsen.

“When I came to this sport, Michael Schumacher was dominating the races and everything, probably that fight with him would still be the one I would choose. Fighting against Michael was very special, so I would say that.”

Alonso may consider Schumacher his toughest opponent but the Spaniard’s style has been compared to that of the seven-time World Champion’s.

Another World Champion Damon Hill said Alonso had the same ability to spot a gap that Schumacher had.

“He’s invested in this, he understands it, and he knows, like Michael Schumacher as well,” he told the F1 Nation podcast.

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“Michael Schumacher understood where the openings were, where the opportunities were, and he took advantage of those, and it’s the same with Fernando.”

Hill also jokingly said Alonso’s defensive skills were so good that he would get him to defend him in a murder trial.

“I’d get him to defend me on a murder charge!” Hill stated.

“It’s boring driving the car, he needs something else to do. He’s going around going, ‘Can I do the strategy as well? Give me more information.’

“He already understands the rules. You’d expect someone who’s been in Formula 1 as long as he has and had all the experiences to have learned something, but you can’t automatically assume that.

“He’s got to become a team boss eventually, because he’d be brilliant. He just understands this game.”