Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso have clashed this year more times than they both care to remember, but the Haas driver says he still has the utmost respect for the departing Spaniard.
On several occasions this season, Alonso complained about his rival’s defensive driving and behaviour, while Magnussen shot back, comparing the McLaren driver’s whining at Silverstone to Neymar’s excessive antics in this year’s football world cup.
Tensions between the two escalated again at Monza, when Magnussen blasted the “disrespectful” Alonso after a clash in qualifying, adding that he “can’t wait for him to retire”.
The 37-year-old will indeed call it a day in F1 after Abu Dhabi, but his nemesis admits that his respect for what Alonso has achieved throughout his career is intact.
“My respect for Fernando as a driver is very big,” Magnussen said.
“here’s no doubt he’s definitely one of the best drivers on the grid.
“Even though we’ve had some tough fights and a few arguments, there’s no damage to my respect for him as a driver.”
Alonso’s career at the pinnacle of motorsport will conclude with his 312th Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
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The two-time world champion will remain active however in 2019, racing with Toyota in the WEC and pursuing his Triple Crown ambitions with a second run in the Indy 500 in May.
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