‘Not technically as good’ – Max Verstappen would beat Fernando Alonso at Red Bull

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso in front of Max Verstappen at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen on the podium.

F1 pundit Peter Windsor does not believe Fernando Alonso could get the better of Max Verstappen as his Red Bull team-mate, arguing Verstappen is the more “technically” gifted driver over one lap.

While the Red Bull RB19 has won a sensational 19 of the 20 grands prix so far in F1 2023, Verstappen has been the one dominating at the wheel of that challenger, claiming 17 of those on his way to a third World Championship in as many years.

And though his team-mate Sergio Perez’s inability to lay a glove on the dominant Dutchman is not a worry for Red Bull, it is not the greatest of situations when it comes to Formula 1’s entertainment value.

Peter Windsor says Max Verstappen beats Fernando Alonso

As Verstappen claimed victory number 17 last time out in Brazil, Perez found himself losing out to Alonso in the Aston Martin in a thrilling battle to the line for the final podium spot.

And when appearing on his latest YouTube livestream, Windsor responded to a fan question asking whether two-time World Champion Alonso, even at the age of 42, could give Verstappen a “run for his money” if they were Red Bull team-mates?

He said: “I think that’s fairly predictable that after that race, a lot of people will be saying, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be great if Alonso was in a Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen’.

“My only answer is that Red Bull had an opportunity to sign Alonso when he left Ferrari. And I think Alonso was very confident that he was going to get the phone call, and he never did.

“And that’s because as I understand it, [Red Bull advisor Helmut] Marko and I guess Christian [Horner] think Alonso can be a divisive character in a team, his personality and the forcefulness of his personality.

“And that’s not what they want from a Max Verstappen Formula 1 team. They want a compliant number two who is not going to rock the boat too much, which they kind of have with Sergio Perez.

“So on face value, I can’t imagine that Red Bull would think of signing Alonso to put him alongside Max Verstappen, as much as the fans would like it.

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“At this age, would be give Max a run for his money? Answer, no.

“Not only because of his age, but I don’t think he’s technically as good as Max over one lap and I don’t think therefore he would be able to make up in the race situation that difference, even if he is possibly a slightly better race driver than Max.

“Which is a debatable point anyway, because Max is so good at using all the variables well and keeping the car square and nice on the road, regardless of what’s going on.

“I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t beat him periodically, but over a season, and that’s what you mean by run for the money, I don’t think he would.”

Alonso is proving that age is just a number after securing an eighth podium finish of F1 2023 in Brazil, as Aston Martin reverted to their pre-upgrade AMR23 and reaped the rewards.

However, Windsor asked where fans fuelling the hype were during Alonso’s days in the failed McLaren-Honda reunion, arguing that when the chance was there to push for Alonso to receive this Red Bull chance, fans were saying he was “hopeless”.

“But then again, all these fans clamouring to see Alonso in a Red Bull and clamouring to see Alonso in something really good, a championship-winning car, where were they four or five years ago when Alonso was in the wilderness doing nothing?” Windsor continued.

“I remember doing several videos about how good Alonso was, even though he was sort of running in the back of the field in the McLaren-Honda and things like this. And people would say, ‘Oh, no, he’s finished. He’s hopeless’. Now, after Brazil, he’s the new magic man of the moment.”

Alonso has an outside chance of claiming a P3 finish in the Drivers’ Championship with two rounds to go, the gap to Lewis Hamilton 28 points.

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