He finished almost forty points behind Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa's championship battle, but Fernando Alonso was the "best driver in 2008".

He finished almost forty points behind Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa's championship battle, but Fernando Alonso was the "best driver in 2008".

That is the belief of David Coulthard, outlined as the newly-retired grand prix veteran made a visit to Spain for the Zaragoza Motor Show Festival.

Alonso's Renault was not as good as the contending McLaren and Ferrari last year but "he continued working and eventually achieved two wins at the end of the season", the Scot is quoted as saying by Diario AS newspaper.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone is also fully convinced of the performance last year of 27-year-old Alonso, amid speculation he may in the future switch to Ferrari.

Ecclestone said on a visit to Valencia that the Spaniard is "one of the world's best drivers who should one day demonstrate his quality with Ferrari".

Spaniard and world number one tennis player Rafael Nadal, who early on Monday morning won the Australian open in Melbourne, agrees.

"Ferrari should have the best driver in the world, and that is Fernando," the 22-year-old said.

 

Be part of something big