Fernando Alonso thinks Max Verstappen is performing better than Lewis Hamilton and is the favourite to win the title.
For the first time in his career, Verstappen has a car good enough to challenge for the World Championship, and he is thus far making the most of it.
After eight races, the Dutchman has four wins to his name and a healthy 18-point lead over Hamilton in the standings.
Giving his thoughts on the battle between the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers, Alonso has been more impressed with the former and, while he knows that things can change quickly, is backing him to prevail.
“The favourite probably is Max because he’s performing better,” he said as per Sky Sports.
“But things can change quickly depending on the performance of the teams and the updates to the car.”
“Today I think I will say Max, but things can change very quickly. With one retirement or one bad lap, race or whatever.
“We saw in Baku, if Lewis had been in the race, he was already in the lead.”
It’s the first time since 2018, when the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was his main rival, that Hamilton has faced a real challenge from another driver for the title, and only the third time in the hybrid era that said challenge has come from another team rather than the other Mercedes car.
Alonso says that especially makes it more interesting to watch from the outside and thinks it’s good for the sport as a whole.
“I think it is very interesting from outside to follow and to watch,” the Alpine driver added.
“At least we don’t have like previous years that it was Lewis against Lewis and sometimes Valtteri [Bottas] but not often.
“At the moment we have a more interesting championship so we can follow with a little more adrenaline up until Abu Dhabi, which is a good thing.”
In another world, Alonso himself could have been involved in this year’s battle, with the Spaniard stating that he held talks with Red Bull ahead of his return to the Formula 1 grid in 2021.
“I had no conversations with Mercedes, there were some with Red Bull,” he is quoted as saying by Marca as having told the ‘El Transistor’ show.