Thursday, 24 April 2008

Greatest driver in F1 today?

With this season looking as though it could possibly be the most competitive in Formula One's long history there is continued debate about who is the most talented driver on the grid.
In today's current climate most people will go for one of two choices, reigning world champion Kimi Raikonnen, or Britain's F1 sensation Lewis Hamilton. However there is one man who I believe is being continually overlooked this season and that is two time world champion and current Renault driver Fernando Alonso.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, his well publicised feud with Lewis Hamilton has rapidly decreased his popularity, with some people inside the sport and many fans outside it.
However there is no doubt in my mind that Alonso was a victim of circumstances. He joined a team, led by boss Ron Dennis, that clearly favoured the young Brit, and the two talented driver's competitive instincts led to a partnership that could no longer work. This eventually resulted in Alonso and Maclaren agreeing to terminate the final two years of their contract.
This season, though only three races old, has really proven to me just what an outstanding talent Fernando Alonso is. He has driven extremely well in what is a very poor car indeed and seems as though a weight has been lifted from his shoulders after his return to Renault.
It appears that team Maclaren are missing him aswell. Alonso is well renowned in Formula One circles for his input in to how the car is set up and Maclaren and Hamilton in particular(teammate Kovalinen has been outstanding) have struggled with the set up of their car.
The plain truth as far as I can see is that Fernando Alonso is the most complete driver in the sport today. He drives with flair, but also knows when to drive conservatively when the situation requires it. Had Hamilton done this in the last two races last season he would surely have been World Champion.
It is my belief that given the right opportunity it will be Alonso, not Raikonnen or Hamilton, who will go down in history as the greatest driver of the post Schumacher generation.