Fernando Alonso says that victory during the 2010 F1 season will have 'more value' due to the return of Michael Schumacher.
The most successful driver in the history of F1 makes his return to the sport after a three-year absence this year, with Schumacher's comeback being one of the main points of interest for the season opener in Bahrain this weekend.
Double champion Alonso secured both of his titles while Schumacher was still competing and the Spaniard – going into his first season with the German's former Ferrari team – said he felt that victory with the seven-time champion on the grid was worth more for a driver.
“Yes, if I said that, it's because I really think that,” he said when asked if he was still of the view that Schumacher is the best driver in F1 history. “If you see the World Championships that Michael has it's something that is impossible to repeat and part of the history in our sport, as I said.
“Looking at the numbers, Grand Prix wins, pole positions, championships etc, I think we all agree that Michael is the best ever, so I'm happy that he's here and as I said, hopefully winning a championship or winning a Grand Prix with Michael on the track has more value, so we will try.”
Alonso also denied that he felt Ferrari as one of the 'top two' teams heading to Bahrain, arguing that at least four teams should be considered as contenders at Sakhir.
“We are not comparing too much the times in winter or making many predictions for these first races,” he said. “We have just been concentrating on our programme to try to be as prepared a possible for the first race. I think the four teams - Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and Ferrari - any of the four teams can be a favourite for this race and for the first part of the championship with, I am sure, some teams also like Sauber and Force India, they will have a very good race as well. I think we will do our best.
“We are well prepared for this start of the season but we want to be World Champions in November, not in March. We will do our best but the goal is to win the championship and we know this is not easy at all and we need to work very hard for ten months, so it is only the start.”