Tom Coronel thinks F1 veteran Fernando Alonso can never come close to the likes of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Max Verstappen.

Alonso is widely considered one of the greatest drivers to strap himself into the cockpit of an F1 car. He is a two-time world champion, having won with Renault in 2005 and 2006. Outside of F1, he has won Le Mans and Daytona, so his credentials as a driver are top class. His current season with Alpine is also going exceptionally well, despite Alonso turning 40 recently.

Coronel named his top five drivers of the first half of the season. He included Alonso in it, but admitted that he had written him off before. He then proceeded to speak on the Spaniard, and opined that he can never come close to Senna, Schumacher and surprisingly, Verstappen.

In an interview, Coronel said, “Sneaky in my top five, because I had actually written him off.

“He’s a competitive little man, a beast. He said again before his Formula 1 return: ‘I’m dropping everything around me, to do one thing right.’ And he does it well. I think that’s seriously nice. Because is Alonso good? Yes, absolutely.

“But is he of the calibre of the greatest? No. He has been able to peak violently, but it is not a calibre of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, or Max,” he said. 

Not entirely right

Coronel may be shooting too much here. Alonso hasn’t slowed down at all. In fact, he is still going strong, and is very much capable of magic. He fended off Lewis Hamilton in Hungary as jaws dropped all over the world. So while Senna and Schumacher may certainly be ahead of Alonso in the driver tier list, sneaking Verstappen in there is susceptible to Dutch bias.

With all due respect to Verstappen, he hasn’t won the big one yet, and certainly not twice like Alonso. This season, he may do it. Until then, the claim is a little far-fetched.

Read more: Alpine F1 director on why team was not initially sold on the idea of signing Fernando Alonso

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