"Schumacher is a star, Alonso is a circle" - Andrea Stella

01-12-2018 11:06
by Bobby Vincent
Schumacher is a star, Alonso is a circle - Andrea Stella

This quite extraordinary quote comes from Formula One engineer Andrea Sella, who has been the man behind Fernando Alonso for the past decade.

Stella also knows Michael Schumacher very well after joining Ferrari in 2000 which was also in the 'golden era' for the Italians. 

When Alonso replaced Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2009, Stella was signed to be his engineer, and then he followed the Spaniard when he moved to McLaren six years later, all the way until his recent retirement.

There are very few people who are have the experience that Stella has to compare the two Formula 1 greats.

"If you take a circle of qualities, where Fernando is very high (in all of them) but potentially not the best in any of them, I think Michael was potentially the best in some of them, but in some others he was weaker than Fernando," the 49-year-old told BBC Sport.

"So Michael's would be more like a star, whereas Fernando's is more like a perfect circle. Michael was an attacking driver. He approached things from beyond the limit, back to the limit. Fernando is more from below the limit, to the limit.

"So for example, Michael's capacity to control the rear end and drive an oversteery car was just unbelievable. But sometimes this became his weakness. Because he drove a car so oversteery in free practice that when it came to qualifying, where you push that 1% more, he might have too much oversteer or too much rear tyre degradation in the race."

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