IndyCar driver Agustin Canapino believes series champion Alex Palou is a better driver than two-time F1 champion Max Verstappen.
Verstappen can wrap up a third consecutive title at the Qatar Grand Prix Sprint next weekend after a dominant season in which he surpassed Sebastian Vettel and Alberto Ascari for the longest winning streak with 10 in a row between the Miami and Italian Grands Prix.
The Dutchman has been an almost unstoppable force and looks set to continue his dominance into next term given the largely stagnant regulation set.
Palou has meanwhile secured his second IndyCar title with Chip Ganassi Racing and, having been at the centre of a contract dispute involving Arrow McLaren, will unlikely make the switch to F1 despite having taken part in FP1 in Austin for the Woking-based outfit last season.
IndyCar is a hard series to dominate given the spec-nature of the cars, but Palou took five wins, including three in a row mid-season to romp to his second title, wrapping it up before the finale in what was the first time in 17 years the title fight has not gone to the final race.
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Canapino on Verstappen
Verstappen's form has seen him enter the discussion surrounding F1's greatest drivers yet for Canapino, who completed his rookie IndyCar season after a switch from the Argentine Turismo Carretera, Palou is a step ahead.
"Palou is outstanding because for me he is the best driver in the world, in my opinion," he told Fox Sports Argentina.
"If he is not the best, he is among the three best.
"In my opinion, Palou is more complete than Verstappen. What Palou does in IndyCar for me is really like being an extraterrestrial, but it is a very subjective opinion.
"Verstappen is another alien too. Don't let Verstappen's followers criticise me because I have Verstappen in limbo too but, for me, the fact of racing on ovals makes IndyCar drivers different because the oval is the absolute extreme and F1 doesn't have that.
"That's why, for me, a driver like Palou, who sets the standard difference in all types of circuits, in all types of disciplines, makes him an extraterrestrial."