Alonso Admits Verstappen Is “the One You Want to Encourage”

Published 07/11/2021, 10:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 1, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Fernando Alonso is arguably one of the most experienced Formula One drivers of his generation. With 320 race starts, the Spaniard ranks third in the all-time driver’s list for most F1 starts.

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During his career, the 39-year-old has seen a varying pool of talent come through the ranks and race with him. Ahead of the British Grand Prix, Alonso spoke about the current world championship leader Max Verstappen.

Fernando Alonso lauds the driving style of Max Verstappen

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Since debuting in F1 as a 17-year-old, Verstappen’s journey has been mercurial. In just six years, the Dutchman has gone from a promising upstart to leading the world championship over Lewis Hamilton this season.

At the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, Verstappen clinched his 15th career race win to extend his lead to 32 points. While the 23-year-old is a class apart this season, Alonso joined the bandwagon of those impressed with his driving style.

Although the Spaniard hasn’t exchanged helmets with him yet, he admitted it is difficult to compare himself with Verstappen. He said, I don’t know. I don’t think you can compare driving styles.”

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

However, the two-time world champion showered praise on the Dutchman, saying he captivated him when he watched races at home. Everyone has their own style. Verstappen drives very spectacularly, and you enjoy watching him. Last year, when I was sitting at home watching television, drivers like Verstappen always gave me something extra.

And that kind of driver is the one you want to encourage, so they do well.”

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Can Alonso continue his scoring streak at Silverstone?

Despite a slow start after coming out of F1 retirement, Alonso looks to have found his groove. Heading into the British Grand Prix, the Spaniard has scored points in the last four races.

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Although Alonso is a two-time winner at Silverstone, he is far from that situation at the moment. However, the new sprint qualifying format could give him an excellent opportunity to score good points. Along with good single-lap pace, Alonso has exhibited good race pace in the last few races which could help his cause.

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WATCH STORY: Top 5 Wins of Max Verstappen’s F1 Career

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Sanket Nair

302 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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