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Fernando Alonso

Alonso praises Verstappen's talent: 'You cannot teach that'

The two-time champion has praised Max Verstappen on the eve that the Red Bull driver could take his second championship.

Alonso Singapore
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen looks set to clinch his second Formula 1 World Championship at this weekend Japanese Grand Prix.

The Dutchman will seal with the championship if he wins and sets the fastest lap, marking him a two-time world champion like Fernando Alonso.

Speaking about the his achievements this year, Alonso says Red Bull and Verstappen were "outstanding" despite the fact that they didn't initially have an outright pace advantage in the races over main rivals Ferrari.

"It was not much of a fight!" exclaimed Alonso when he spoke to media, including RacingNews365.

"Red Bull and Max [Verstappen], they were outstanding. There was not a fight maybe because Red Bull and Max were better than the others.

"But they didn't have that superior car, because I guess Ferrari's is the same or better."

Alonso on Verstappen's talent

Alonso praised Verstappen's ability to be straight on the pace when the weekend begins, without having to rely on the extra data generated by a teammate.

"You cannot teach that, I think it has to come from yourself," he explained.

"There are drivers that need more time, to study more data; they need all Friday to analyse and compare with a teammate and slowly make little steps until until they are 100% ready for qualifying.

"And there are others that they are 100% in FP1. So I think Max is one of those and he has been always like that, from go karts to now. So it should not be a surprise [he's a double world champion] for anyone."

Will he be one of the all-time greats?

Even though Verstappen has been in F1 for the last seven years, Alonso thinks that he will be known as one of the all-time greats when asked about the impact a second title will have on his status in F1.

"I think so. I mean he's 24 so it's still a long way in front of him. I hope he's luckier than me, because at that age I also had two titles, but now I'm forty still!"

"I'm sure we would Red Bull and how the things looks for the future, things will only get better [for him]."

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