Fernando Alonso may be one of the top drivers in F1, but he is not the 'best of the bunch', according to Jody Scheckter.

Alonso joined Ferrari back in 2010, brought in to replace Kimi Raikkonen and help the Scuderia try and recovery the Michael Schumacher glory days. However it hasn't gone to plan. Indeed while the Spaniard did come close to taking his third drivers' title in his first year with the Maranello-based outfit, he was only fourth in the standings last year. Furthermore while he does currently lead the F1 2012 drivers' championship and of course made the most of the changeable conditions to win in Malaysia last Sunday, this season looks set to be a difficult one, given the current issues with the F2012, which appears to be no match for the McLaren or Red Bull.

Speaking prior to the start of the season, Scheckter added that he sees the 30-year-old as a 'steady performer' and nothing more.

"Fernando's one of the top drivers, of course, but I don't rate him as the best of the bunch," Scheckter told The Guardian in its pre-season guide. "I see him as a steady performer who is capable of bringing in a result as long as you give him the right car."

The South African meanwhile was equally damning in his assessment of Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa, although that is perhaps more understandable, given the Brazilian's form over the last 12-18 months.

"He [Massa] was certainly good before his accident. At the end of Michael's time at Ferrari Felipe was starting to looks like the faster of the two of them.

"But he definitely hasn't been as good since he came back," added the 1979 F1 world champion.

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