Nelson Piquet Jr. believes former Renault team mate Fernando Alonso remains one of F1's biggest stars whose passion rather than fame fuels his insatiable appetite for racing.
The Brazilian raced alongside the two-time world champion in 2008 and 2009, and believes his outstanding talent and motivation remain intact ten years later, as well as his very strong character.
"Alonso has a strong character and he wants everything, he does not know how to share," the Formula E racer told Spain's Marca sports newspaper.
"But sometimes a great driver has to be like that and he is a great driver.
"Over ten years ago he was champion but he is still one of the biggest stars of F1," Piquet added.
"He will be Le Mans champion. They are changing the date so that he can race in Fuji and taking advantage of the moment and I would do the same with my eyes closed."
Like many, Piquet has been impressed by Alonso's need to race out of his comfort zone, seeking success in other categories of racing for the hseet pleasure of competing rather than to boost his ego.
"I respect his willingness to race at Indianapolis, Daytona and Le Mans, which he does not for fame but because he likes to compete.
"But he is also very intelligent, which you can see with how he changes the helmet with every race -- it's commercial, to sell more replicas," added Piquet.