Alonso named best F1 driver of 2008

Fernando Alonso has been named the top formula one driver of the 2008 season by one of the leading media outlets covering the sport.

Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, the daily sports newspaper, said the Spaniard outclassed both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, despite the latter duo occupying first and second spots in the final drivers' classifications.

"Why Alonso? Because he was driving a Renault, which did not begin as the best machine, but in the last 6 grands prix no-one scored more points than him," the publication said of the 27-year-old.

"In wise and close collaboration with his engineers, he gradually improved to a level of high competitiveness that allowed him not only to win two races, but to do better than everyone from September onwards: 43 points for him versus 33 for Massa and 28 for Hamilton.

"And all this with the handicap of Renault engine power. Had he driven a Ferrari, the title would certainly had been his."

World champion Lewis Hamilton was named second best due to his strength "on every type of track, in the wet and in the dry, showing no weaknesses", while Felipe Massa is third when "no-one expected him to be so strong" despite being "bombarded by bad luck in decisive moments".

BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica was named next best, ahead of young Monza winner Sebastian Vettel, the disappointing Kimi Raikkonen, Nick Heidfeld, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock.

McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen rounded out the top ten.


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