Fernando Alonso is in the same league as two of F1's greatest recent champions, according to Gerhard Berger.

Fernando Alonso is in the same league as two of F1's greatest recent champions, according to Gerhard Berger.

"There are sometimes those special drivers: Ayrton Senna was one, Michael Schumacher was one, and Alonso is one," said the Austrian and former grand prix winner.

Berger is uniquely placed to compare Ferrari's Spanish driver with those greats -- he was one of Senna's closest friends, having raced alongside the late Brazilian at McLaren in the 90s.

And he was a contemporary of Schumacher's during the seven time world champion's first F1 career, moving away from Ferrari to make room for the German, and then replacing him for the 1996 season at Benetton.

"They are drivers who can win world championships without having the absolute best car," Berger told Austrian television Servus TV.

Be part of something big