Gene: Alonso is better than Schumacher
2 June, 2011
Jun.2 (GMM) Ferrari test driver Marc Gene has revealed that he regards Fernando Alonso as the best driver he has worked with in Formula 1, which includes Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, amid reports that the team supplies superior equipment to the Spaniard.
Alonso, with a new long-term contract, is widely regarded as Maranello’s number one driver, particularly with Felipe Massa struggling to match him over the past two seasons.
But fellow Spaniard, Gene told El Mundo newspaper: “I can confirm 100% that both Felipe and Fernando have the same materials at their disposal. If the results of Fernando have been superior it is because of his very high level.”
“I cannot judge what he did in his time at Renault and McLaren but I have worked with world champions Schumacher, Villeneuve and Raikkonen and Fernando is the one who impresses me the most,” said Gene.
“Before he arrived at Ferrari I had great expectations, and now that I’ve seen and studied and worked with him, I can say he has exceeded all of the expectations,” added the Ferrari test driver.
Gene, meanwhile, said he does not believe it would be the right move for Ferrari to abandon work on the 150 Italia car in order to ensure a more competitive start to 2012. “It is true that the gap to Red Bull is significant, even if there are many races left. But no gap is unbridgeable, especially for a team like Ferrari.”
He concluded, “Also, if it is right that the regulations for next year do not change much, it is still useful to develop the current car because these improvements can also apply to the next one. Ferrari’s philosophy is to not give up while the maths do not prove otherwise.”
Gene was Ferrari test driver from 2004 until last year. He still keeps close ties with the Maranello squad while campaigning for the Peugeot factory team in sportscar racing, including Le Mans. Gene competed in 36 Grands Prix for Minardi and Williams.