Fernando Alonso: Former Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo makes Michael Schumacher claim | F1 | Sport


That is the bold claim of ex-Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who has decried the Spaniard’s failure to win an F1 title with the Prancing Horse.

Fernando Alonso walked away from F1 at the end of the 2018 campaign following a disappointing final year with McLaren.

But the two-time champion has plenty of fond memories to look back on from his time on the sport, particularly during his first spell at Renault.

Alonso went close to repeating the success he enjoyed with Renault during his stint at Ferrari, finishing second in the standings on three occasions.

Di Montezemolo has now showered praise on the 37-year-old, who is looking to become only the second man to claim motorsport’s Triple Crown.

And he says Alonso deserves to be the subject of favourable comparisons with Michael Schumacher, as well as fellow former Ferrari man Niki Lauda.

“I am very happy, Fernando is a great driver, often had difficulties in being also a team man, but together with Schumacher and Lauda he was the strongest of all time at Ferrari,” Di Montezemolo told La Gazzetta dello Sport, when Alonso’s success at the 24 Hours of Daytona was put to him.

“I have fond memories of him in Maranello, he does not have an easy character but he has always given everything.

“I only regret that in 2010 and 2012 he did not manage to win the Formula 1 World Championship, even though he fought until the end.”

Two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner Alonso just needs to win the Indianapolis 500 to complete the Triple Crown.

Motorsport expert Tony Jardine, though, believes Alonso will still be thinking about the errors of judgement he had during his F1 career.

“It will always, always be in his mind because he’ll be looking at Formula 1, and he’s still at the top of his game, that’s the sad thing, and he’ll be thinking: ‘I could have beaten him, I could have beaten him’,” Jardine exclusively told Express Sport, when asked if Alonso will regret retiring from F1 last year.

“But he just needed a decent car, but wrong place, wrong time, wrong managerial decisions.

“Those decisions go back to when he’s in a plumb drive at McLaren.

“He throws his toys out of the pram in 2007 because he thinks Hamilton is getting the better treatment and he decides to leave.

“That’s him and his manager, [Flavio] Briatore, and he goes back to Renault.

“Renault were already on a downward slope, so he spent two years in the back water then. What a curious, stupid decision.

“Okay, gets into Ferrari, nearly, nearly [wins] but all those years of being the bridesmaid are very frustrating.

“He showed his incredible talent because the Ferrari wasn’t a great car but yeah, he could win with it.

“And he is lost to Formula 1. It’s sad that we don’t still have him and he’s just going to be a journeyman doing a bit of sports cars, Indy 500, whatever he fancies.”

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