Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has hailed Fernando Alonso as 'the best driver in the world' ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, comparing the Spaniard to Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher.
Alonso, who won the title twice with Renault in 2005 and 2006, joined the Scuderia in 2010 and while he came close to taking the title in his first year with the Maranello-based outfit, he ultimately lost out in the season finale in Abu Dhabi to Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel.
This year, despite starting off with a car that was regarded as rather second rate, he has scored in every race and currently heads the 2012 F1 World Championship standings, 3 points up on Vettel and Mark Webber.
“Alonso is the best driver in the world,” Montezemolo said in a recent interview with CNN
. “He is one of those drivers, like Lauda and Schumacher, who have had a great importance in my professional life and in that of Ferrari. He has all the requisites for winning, but we need to improve the car.
“He has a fantastic attitude: just like Schumacher, he knows how to work closely with the team and he maintains that positive attitude, even in the difficult moments. Now the aim is to improve for the round in Canada.”
As for number two driver Felipe Massa, Montezemolo is hoping that his fine display in Monaco, will give the Brazilian the boost he needs to do better, after a really dismal start to the year.
“I think Felipe will do well in the second half of the season. Let us not forget that, in 2008, he crossed the finish line in Brazil as champion, only for [Lewis] Hamilton to just squeeze him out of it,” Montezemolo pointed out.
Meanwhile, he added that he is not thinking about the driver line-up yet for 2013.
“At the moment, I am concentrating on everything except this. We will see later,” he concluded.