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Hill identifies trait that separates Alonso from other F1 drivers

Damon Hill has been very impressed by Fernando Alonso so far in 2023, and believes that the Spaniard has a characteristic that sets him apart from most of his rivals.

Damon Hill believes that Fernando Alonso might be the "smartest guy" to ever race in F1, with a couple of possible exceptions. Alonso has had a strong start to the 2023 campaign, having secured third place at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix before following this up with another podium in Saudi Arabia. While his P3 in Jeddah was briefly taken away following a post-race penalty, an appeal from Aston Martin resulted in the decision being reversed and Alonso's trophy being returned to him. Hill was impressed by Alonso's remarks after the race, and has praised the Spaniard for his mental approach to racing.

Hill praises 'smart' Alonso

"He made the comment [when being interviewed after the race] that the [penalty] decision could have been given to him much sooner in the race, and then he might have been able to do something about it," Hill told the F1 Nation podcast. "I don't think there's a smarter guy who's ever sat in a racing car than Fernando Alonso, perhaps with the exception of Niki Lauda. I'm probably missing out Jackie Stewart. "But he is a thinking racing person. He's just... I was going to say machine but he's not a machine, he's a person, but he's just amazing. "He always impresses me with everything he does."

Alonso's 'capacity for knowledge' impresses

F1 presenter Lee McKenzie has been similarly impressed by Alonso's "capacity for knowledge" of a race, with the two-time World Champion always ensuring that he is well-briefed after the event. "I am constantly amazed by Fernando," McKenzie said. "He is the most competitive person but, actually, when you strip it down, there is no one I've spoken to more who knows more about the race – and he's been driving in it. "He knows where everyone has finished, he knows every decision that's been taken by the FIA. "He gets given a note when he comes into the interview pen, just in case there's something he's missed. He is so well-briefed, he reads a race so well. "He is just incredible, the amount of capacity he has for knowledge whilst he's driving."

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