Lewis Hamilton snubbed with Verstappen and Alonso ‘head and shoulders above’

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the podium. Canada, June 2023.

Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton put bottles together on the podium in celebration. Canada, June 2023.

Given a choice between Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton as his ideal driver, Giancarlo Fisichella rates the Dutchman ahead but says neither comes close to Fernando Alonso nor Michael Schumacher.

While this year’s championship is being dominated by Red Bull driver Verstappen, the Dutchman continuing his incredible form having dethroned Hamilton back in 2021, almost two decades ago it was Alonso who did the same to a multi-World Champion.

The Spaniard, racing for Renault, ended Schumacher’s five-year reign as Formula 1 World Champion when he clinched the 2005 title.

‘Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso are head and shoulders above everyone else’

He followed that up with the 2006 crown with the season going down to the wire with a runner-up result at the final race in Brazil putting Alonso 13 points up on Schumacher.

Fisichella reckons still today they are the two best drivers Formula 1’s has seen.

“Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso are head and shoulders above everyone else,” he told Corriere dello Sport, the Italian going on to say he is impressed that Alonso is still showing he has what it takes to compete against today’s grid.

“Fernando at almost 42 is living a second youth with Aston Martin,” he added, “the car is fine, and he puts his mind and desire into it.”

But in a season that has seen Alonso re-emerge as one of Formula 1’s star drivers, the one thing missing from his list of accolades is a grand prix win. Those have belonged solely to Red Bull.

The team has won 12 from 12 with Verstappen taking 10 of those including a run of eight on the trot to surge to a 125-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship.

On course for a third successive World title, Fisichella was asked if he had a choice between Verstappen or former champion Hamilton, which of the two would he take.

“Verstappen,” he said. “It is the evolution of the species, Max has something more and gives the impression of driving with one hand.”

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The three-time grand prix winner believes Red Bull could go on to record a season’s whitewash of 22 wins from 22 races.

“I fear Red Bull has made a monstrous car. It is too far ahead: it was already strong in 2022, but the evolution has been tremendous,” he said.

He also weighed in on Ferrari’s driver line-up of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, Fisichella having spent his final five races in Formula 1 with the Italian stable when he was called up to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

“The trouble is that if you don’t have a winning car, after a while the champion gets tired,” he said.

“The Leclerc-Sainz couple will not break. There is rivalry, but they are intelligent guys and they know they have to work for the team”.

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