Lewis Hamilton claims Sebastian Vettel is not the best driver on the grid, believing it is his Red Bull RB9 that is unbeatable and not the German himself.

The Brit says his former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso is the best driver currently on the grid, despite his position in the world championship standings.

"Fernando is the strongest driver I've raced against in my life," he told Germany's frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

As for Vettel, the 2008 champion said: "He is not unbeatable; his car is unbeatable."

Despite that Hamilton, who switched to Mercedes from McLaren for 2013 in a bid to better challenge Vettel, says the German has all-but won this year's world title ahead of the Korean Grand Prix.

"When I see him on Sunday before the start of the drivers' parade, I'll probably congratulate him," he said.

As for the man Hamilton named as the best on the grid, Alonso is again having to calm speculation about a shock return to McLaren.

Journalists from Italy, as well as Britain's Sky Sports, believe that while suggestions made in Singapore were quickly put down, behind the scenes the possibility of a surprise return from Ferrari is still there.

"If Alonso was free, we would still be interested," Germany's Auto Motor Sport quoted McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh as saying in Korea.

Alonso however once again made it clear where he will be racing next year.

"People write what they want," he reportedly said.

"I can't do any more than say that I am staying at Ferrari."

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Formula 1