Fernando Alonso believes that Michael Schumacher’s ability to beat every teammate makes him harder to beat than Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton is just one race win away from equalling Michael Schumacher’s record of 91, and the debate has been intensifying in recent months over which driver is better.
Alonso, who won the Drivers’ Championship with Renault back in 2005 and 2006, has weighed in on the debate, saying the German was harder to beat.
During first spell in Formula One, between 1991 and 2006, Schumacher finished ahead of every teammate in the standings in every full season he completed, although was disqualified from the 1997 championship after colliding with eventual champion Jacques Villeneuve in the final round at Jerez.
He finished behind teammate Eddie Irvine in 1999, but missed six races due to a broken leg suffered at Silverstone.
Hamilton, meanwhile, lost out to Nico Rosberg in the 2016 standings when the pair were partnered together at Mercedes, and also lost out to Jenson Button during his McLaren days.
When asked by Sport Bild about who was the hardest to beat, Alonso explained: “I remember Michael as a driver who is hard to beat, one with the greatest talent. He had that extra something.
“Lewis is very good and the best of his generation. But he did not win the World Championship with McLaren when he was Jenson Button’s teammate.
“Nico Rosberg also won the World Championship at Mercedes. Michael never had such things. He always won. For me, Michael has the edge.”
Alonso has experienced fighting at the front against both drivers, having seen off Schumacher’s Ferrari to capture the 2006 title.
One of their most famous battles came at the San Marino Grand Prix of 2005, when Alonso held off the German, who was much faster throughout the second period of the race, to claim victory by just under a second.
The Spaniard signed for McLaren in 2007, where he was partnered with the then-rookie Hamilton, with both drivers scoring 109 points in that season’s Drivers’ Championship.
Hamilton has since gone on to win six titles, five of those with current team Mercedes, and holds a 44-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas after 10 rounds of the 2020 season.
Alonso, meanwhile, returns to the sport with Alpine in 2021, having originally retired from the sport at the end of 2018.
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