Peter Windsor, former team manager for Ferrari and Williams, has expressed doubt about Fernando Alonso’s ability to prevail in on-track battles against Max Verstappen, citing a past overtaking struggle with Pastor Maldonado.
Windsor’s comments came in response to Alonso’s recent impressive podium finish at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he overtook Lewis Hamilton to secure second place.
During the race, Alonso made a decisive move on Hamilton, utilising the Turn 11 hairpin and DRS assistance to successfully pass the Mercedes driver at the braking zone of Turn 13.
This display of skill sparked speculation among Formula 1 fans about how Alonso would fare in a similar battle against reigning World Champion Verstappen.
Reflecting on a past incident, Windsor recalled the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix when Alonso, driving for Ferrari, was unable to overtake Maldonado in a Williams.
Despite Alonso’s home Grand Prix and his competitive Ferrari, Maldonado defended his pole position and secured an unexpected victory, leaving Alonso three seconds behind.
Windsor shared his observations, stating: “It’s interesting that he [Maldonado] did that.
“And so, on that basis, if we have an on-track battle on equal terms… I’m being slightly facetious and cynical, but that would be pretty much eyeball to eyeball.
“I just think Fernando is a bit like Nigel Mansell… he was very, very fingertip, being very sensitive and very subtle.”
Windsor further expressed his view that while Alonso is a skilled Sunday performer and possesses excellent consistency, his overtaking abilities in head-to-head battles may not be on par with Verstappen.
Referring to the Maldonado-Alonso incident, Windsor emphasised that in an equal car situation, he couldn’t envision Alonso triumphing.
In Windsor’s estimation, Verstappen’s racing prowess positions him as the ultimate driver in both short corners and overall performance, suggesting that he would come out on top in a battle against Alonso.
Acknowledging the hypothetical nature of the discussion, Windsor concluded, “It’s never going to be a fair test… It’s a good question, and my answer is I think Max would have him.”
While Windsor’s comments raise doubts about Alonso’s overtaking abilities, the debate serves as a testament to the anticipation and excitement surrounding potential future battles between two accomplished drivers in Formula 1.