Massa: Alonso is as talented as Schumacher

Cape Town - Fernando Alonso is on the "same level" as Michael Schumacher but has had less success than the German because he can "split a team"; that's according to Felipe Massa

During his years in Formula 1, Massa was team-mates with both World Champions. 

When he first joined Ferrari in 2006 he was Schumacher's team-mate and in his final years at the Scuderia, he was Alonso's. 

As such he has first-hand knowledge of how both World Champions operate. 

"As for pure talent, I would put Michael and Fernando on the same level," Massa said. 

"Alonso has the gift, the ease, of understanding a race and driving incredibly fast. A highly intelligent driver with extensive skills and I would say all that also about Michael. 

"I have to admit - it was not easy to live by his side. I had a close relationship with Michael. I was young and eager to absorb all the knowledge of a seven-time champion, and Schumacher treated me very well. 

"But I had to wrestle with Fernando in a different way. Outside of the race car, I had zero problems with Alonso, we have always maintained a healthy working relationship. 

"With Fernando, that’s one thing. If he pulls down his visor, he becomes another person. He can split a team. We saw that in many racing teams he drove for. 

"I see that as his problem. Maybe he could have made more of his talent without this trait."

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