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Brawn rates Alonso as the best

NEWS STORY
07/09/2008

Having made no secret of his desire to sign Fernando Alonso for 2009, Ross Brawn's courtship of the two-time World Champion reached new heights yesterday when he proclaimed the Spaniard the best driver in F1.

"My view is that he's the best driver in Formula One at the moment and we're happy to wait and hope that he makes a positive decision for us," the Englishman told reporters.

"The reason I think he's the best driver is balance of experience and ability," the Honda Team Principal continued. "To me there are three very quick drivers who have established themselves so far in F1. There's Lewis (Hamilton), there's Kimi and Fernando. And Felipe is coming up very quickly and closely behind."

"If you look at those three drivers for a team in our position, where we have a strong rebuilding process going on, then we need a driver with strong development capacity, experience and absolute speed. For me, Fernando has all of those things. So that's why I think he's the best driver in Formula One, because he has a combination of those things.

"Lewis is clearly very quick, a super guy," Brawn added, "but doesn't have the experience yet. Kimi doesn't have the reputation of being a person who can develop a car strongly but is very quick."

Honda is understood to have made a 'money no object' offer to Alonso, who recently admitted that he won't be making any announcements regarding his plans in the foreseeable future. It is widely speculated that the Spaniard is waiting to see what Kimi Raikkonen's plans are.

Following two dreadful seasons, Honda is pinning its hopes on a return to serious form in 2009 when the new regulations come into force. Brawn makes no secret of the fact that a proven winner would greatly enhance the team.

However, though he continues to struggle with Renault, following a 'difficult' season with McLaren, it remains to be seen whether Alonso is as convinced by the Honda revival as Brawn is.

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