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Fernando Alonso has been overrated by people in Formula One, says former champion

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A former world champion has claimed that people overrate Fernando Alonso following the plaudits thrown the Spaniard's way after he announced his intention not to race in 2019.

One-time F1 world champion Jody Scheckter also claimed that Alonso's divisive nature is not the correct way to behave as a driver. 

Alonso revealed on Tuesday that he would not race in 2019, but stopped short of announcing a full retirement from the sport, hinting that a return could be on the cards somewhere down the line.

Alonso's announcement read: "After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport it's time for me to make a change and move on.

"I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. There are still several Grands Prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever."

The 2005 and 2006 champion has won 32 Grands Prix and was labelled a "legend" and an "F1 great" by his team boss Zak Brown in McLaren's announcement of Alonso's decision.

However, Scheckter believes that Alonso isn't deserving of the labels being touted for him by many in the sport.

He told BBC Radio 5live, via Autosport: "I like to just think how many championships somebody has won.

"You can rate people that they had bad luck and bad cars. I think people overrate him.

A1 Grand Prix of Nations

"One of his problems is he seems to upset teams and everybody around him. That's not the way to win world championships.

"You've got to work with your team and you're nearly a leader [as a driver].

"Schumacher has got to be rated as the best driver ever. Alonso I don't think he's in that category.

"For me, absolutely [they are] not [level].

F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice

"[That's] not to say he's not a good driver. He's one of the top drivers there now."

Scheckter's comments about the Schumacher comparison came after Alonso's former teammate Felipe Massa told Brazilian TV that he rated Alonso alongside the seven-time champ in terms of talent. 

Scheckter isn't alone in his assessment of Alonso, as Red Bull ruled out signing the Spaniard as a replacement for the Renault-bound Daniel Ricciardo, with team boss Christian Horner saying: “He’s tended to cause a bit of chaos wherever he’s gone.”

Former F1 driver turned Sky Sports pundit Martin Brundle took to Twitter to discuss Alonso’s combative nature and “unfulfilled potential”, claiming the two-time champ needed someone to rein him in during "destructive moments".

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Topics:
Fernando Alonso
McLaren
Formula 1

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