Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi believes Fernando Alonso would be just as fast as Max Verstappen, if the Spaniard were to race for Red Bull.
The 1972 and 1974 World Champion believes the Dutchman is “making the most” of having the best car on the grid, similar to what Lewis Hamilton did for so many years.
With the exception of 2016, Hamilton dominated F1 from 2014 all the way to 2020, before Verstappen defeated him controversially to the 2021 Drivers’ Championship.
Hamilton made the most of Mercedes consistently giving him the best machinery on the grid, similar to what Verstappen has done since last year.
Whilst Verstappen was excellent in 2022, in the recently completed 2023 campaign he was sensational and seemed to break records with ease.
He won a third consecutive title by a staggering 290 points, with his record-breaking 575 points having been enough for Red Bull to win the Constructors’ Championship without Sergio Perez’s points being included.
Whilst Perez, Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Ferrari occasionally challenged the Dutchman, nobody was able to consistently take the fight to him.
Hamilton only really took the fight to Verstappen at the United States Grand Prix, although he was disqualified afterwards.
Alonso arguably took the fight to Verstappen more than anyone else in 2023, until Aston Martin’s car worsened the more upgrades the Silverstone-based side introduced.
Excluding the Singapore Grand Prix, the RB19 just worked everywhere, with Verstappen to his credit having made the most of the car’s remarkable performance.
Red Bull and Verstappen are just a “very competitive combination”, who Fittipaldi believes are “at their best”.
“He is living a top stage of his career, with a very good team and a very good car,” Fittipaldi told Mundo Deportivo.
“He’s performing like when [Lewis] Hamilton dominated with Mercedes for a few years. He is making the most of it.
“He, as a driver, the team and the car form a very competitive combination and they are at their best.”
As good as Verstappen is, Fittipaldi still doesn’t think he’s unbeatable, with the 76-year-old being certain that Alonso would match him if in the same car.
“He’s very fast, but surely if you put Alonso in a Red Bull, he’s going to be fast just the same,” claimed Fittipaldi.