Fernando Alonso has named the driver he seen as his biggest rival throughout his career, citing Michael Schumacher. Alonso put an end to Ferrari's and Schumacher's dominance in the early 2000s, winning the 2005 world championship with Renault.
Schumacher's challenge was much more prominent the following year, however the German couldn't add an eighth title before slipping into his first retirement. Alonso, who will not compete in the 2019 F1 championship, believes that the seven-time champion was his biggest competitor.
"It’s difficult to choose one, obviously, if I have to say one, it will be Michael,” Alonso said. “Not because any particular reason it was just because when I got to Formula 1 Michael was dominating the sport. [When] you are in go-karts and you see Michael winning, you are different categories, you see Michael winning, and then eventually you find yourself fighting [him] wheel-to-wheel.
“So, those battles were definitely special, or more emotional at that time. I think we had, and probably have right now, the most talented generation. Because all drivers now they are more prepared.”
Alonso also explained that the calibre of young drivers now is better than ever due to the equipment that they are able to use on their way to F1: “They get more time in the simulator, in different young driver programmes, so they go to Formula 1 with a level that was unthinkable a decade or two decades ago,” the Spaniard said. “It was a good journey and I have to choose one, maybe Michael – but just for emotional reasons not for any technical aspects.”
Alonso opted to not take part in the 2019 F1 season, however he will remain part of the team, as the two will enter the Indy 500 together. Alonso will also keep up his WEC with Toyota, a series he is currently leading.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing