While he says that being in the best car is important, Fernando Alonso also believes that Lewis Hamilton is the best performer on the grid.
Hamilton became, statistically at least, the most successful driver in the history of F1 in 2020, winning his seventh World Championship and surpassing Michael Schumacher’s record tally of race-wins.
However, some feel that his success is mainly down to the fact that he’s had the best car on the grid rather than his own ability. Alonso disagrees.
“Okay, he has a dominant car, but he’s better than his teammate,” he 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.
“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 will be going head to head with Hamilton for the first time since 2017 when he returns to the grid with Renault, and he feels as capable as ever.
“I am not worried about anything on my return. I think I am more mature than ever,” the Spaniard said.
“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.”
In terms of his goals, he’s aiming higher than Renault’s triple-podium 2020 haul.
“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 organizations, so we are going to have to do our best.”