“Awesome” Daniel Ricciardo as Fast as Fernando Alonso: McLaren CEO

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McLaren F1 will be welcoming Daniel Ricciardo into their team for the 2021 season. The Australian driver has been quite brilliant in the current campaign, his crowning glory being two P3 finishes in the span of three races. Ricciardo has shown incredible speed not only in the current campaign but also throughout his career. But is he faster than Fernando Alonso? McLaren CEO Zak Brown gives his verdict.

Being a 2-times world champion, there is no doubting Alonso’s pace. However, Brown sides with his future McLaren driver instead.

He said, “Fernando kind of scores himself a nine out of ten on everything. (But) Daniel is awesome over a single lap and awesome over a race distance.

“Until you have them both in the same car, at the same time, I don’t think we’ll ever know. But I don’t think there is anyone faster than Daniel at the moment, so I’m going to say maybe it’s a tie. But I’m rooting for my guy.”

It’s a bold statement, but it’s hard to disagree that Ricciardo is probably the fastest driver on the grid at the moment after Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Perhaps a bit of recency bias may well have come into the picture, but it’s understandable why Brown would back his own team member over a driver who’ll be racing for rival Alpine next season.

However, Brown did have the privilege to work with the 2-times world champion for four seasons and had some high words of praise for Alonso.

McLaren CEO showers praise on Fernando Alonso, believes he’ll succeed with Alpine

Fernando Alonso in an interview during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Imola, Italy – Fernando Alonso is interviewed FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Brown said, “I’ve got an outstanding relationship with him and a tremendous amount of respect for his work ethic. His intelligence is second to none.

“I think at Renault (Alpine), he’s going to be a fierce competitor. He’s probably the best all-round driver that I’ve worked with. I think the speed will definitely be there. So, he’s going to be a guy that’s going to be tough to beat on the track.”

We have already witnessed an epic 4 way battle among the mid-field teams to finish third in the championship this year. With Alonso returning next year, let’s hope that the already heated fight in the middle of the grid spices up.

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