Andrea Stella, McLaren’s team principal, has stirred up the Formula 1 community with his recent remarks on who he considers the crème de la crème of F1 drivers today, notably omitting a certain seven-time world champion from his list.
While expressing satisfaction with his current driver lineup of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, Stella didn’t hold back in his praise for the duo. Speaking to DAZN, Stella highlighted Piastri’s intellect and composure, stating, “Oscar is talented but also very smart. His brain abilities are very high. And I would say that he is very calm.” He was equally laudatory about Norris, asserting, “Lando is already one of the best drivers on the grid. He’s very fast, very good in the race, very good with tyre management. When I think about Lando, I think that if we can give him a good car, he can already fight for the championship.”
The conversation took an interesting turn when Stella was asked to identify the most ‘complete’ active driver. His choice? Fernando Alonso. Stella, who has a history with Alonso from their Ferrari days, described the 42-year-old Spaniard as having “no weaknesses,” which he believes makes him unique in the field. He elaborated, “He’s not the best at many things, but he’s very strong at everything.”
Stella sees similarities between Alonso and his drivers, particularly Piastri, whom he likens to Alonso for his ability to perform complex calculations while driving. He also sees Norris developing into a driver as ‘complete’ as Alonso.
However, the most buzzworthy part of Stella’s comments came when he omitted Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, from his list of the top three drivers, if all had the same cars. Stella’s top picks? “Max (Verstappen), Lando, and Fernando,” he concluded, a choice that’s sure to spark discussions in the F1 world.