‘Kimi Raikkonen quicker than Fernando Alonso at absolute peak levels’

Oliver Harden
Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Renault) celebrate on the podium at the 2005 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Fernando Alonso (Renault) celebrate on the podium at the 2005 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

Kimi Raikkonen was faster than former Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso when both drivers were at their absolute peak in F1.

That is the opinion of F1 commentator Peter Windsor, who believes combining the talents of each would result in the creation of “the perfect racing driver.”

Raikkonen and Alonso both arrived on the grid in 2001 and memorably duelled for the title in 2005, with the latter winning the first of two consecutive World Championships with Renault.

Kimi Raikkonen has the edge over Fernando Alonso on raw speed

While Raikkonen – who overhauled Alonso and McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to scoop the title by a single point in 2007 – retired from F1 at the end of 2021, Alonso continues to compete at the age of 42 and has finished on the podium at half of the 14 races held so far in 2023 for Aston Martin.

Alonso was the dominant force when the pair spent a single season together at Ferrari in 2014, outscoring Raikkonen by 106 points in a difficult season for the team.

However, when asked during a recent YouTube stream to identify the fastest driver at their best, former title-winning Williams team manager Windsor sided with Raikkonen.

He said: “If a number of my friends/engineer mates/authorities were asked that question, they would all say: ‘If you could combine Kimi’s talent with Fernando’s talent, you would have the perfect racing driver.’

“Because here you have this guy that was virtually unbeatable over one lap, absolutely brilliant; and there’s Fernando, who wasn’t so good around one lap but could drive anything anywhere and on a Sunday there was nobody better. He could bring the car home, could live with all the variables and maximise them.

“So you take your pick, really.

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“If you’re talking about the fastest racing driver out of those two, I would say Kimi Raikkonen; if you’re saying the driver who, over a full race season in a car which 50 per cent of the time has front or rear wing damage, Fernando Alonso.

“Kimi was a very good racing driver too. I shouldn’t sell him short – he was a very good racing driver and we shouldn’t just think he was a quick qualifier – and Fernando obviously has his moments as a qualifier as well.

“You asked the question ‘quicker’ and I would say Kimi. Shoot me down in flames.

“I’m a massive Fernando fan, I’d hate for anybody to think that I wasn’t.”

The raw statistics reveal Raikkonen claimed just 18 pole positions over the course of his F1 career, with his final one coming at the age of 38 at Ferrari’s home race at Monza in 2018.

Meanwhile, the most recent of Alonso’s 22 poles occurred at the 2012 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

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