Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Hamilton: Alonso is one of F1’s greats and deserved more success

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to his former Formula 1 team mate Fernando Alonso, who is stepping down at the end of the season.

Hamilton, who had an acrimonious year alongside Alonso at McLaren in 2007, said the two-times world champion deserved more success in the sport.

“I’m sure in the racing world he will be missed for sure,” said Hamilton. “He’s been in it for 17 years, a big part of it.

“He’s one of the best drivers there’s ever been here. I would say it is a shame that he’s not decorated as his ability [deserves].”

Alonso’s last championship came with Renault in 2006. After spending a year with McLaren alongside Hamilton he returned to Renault, later moved on to Ferrari, and rejoined McLaren in 2015.

Hamilton suggested Alonso could have had more success if he’d chosen his career moves better.

“This sport is a very interesting machine,” he said. “It’s not just about being a great driver it’s also how you manoeuvre, it’s how you play the game. It’s like a chess game, it’s how you position yourself, the things that also are a part of the package.

“As I say he’s one of the greatest drivers in F1. For me, arguably the best driver I’ve ever driven against. I wish him all the best moving on.”

Sebastian Vettel, who took Alonso’s place at Ferrari in 2015, also believes some of Alonso’s career moves backfired.

“Obviously he’s decided to stop so I wish him all the best. I’m pretty sure he will continue racing in other categories. Maybe he will come back, you never know.

“Obviously the last seasons for him were certainly not the way he expected them to be. But I think we all look after ourselves and looking at other people you see something from the outside but you never really understand the full picture if you’re not completely involved in the decision-making process, what’s going on inside the team.

I think the reason why he didn’t win is quite clearly he didn’t have a package to win the last couple of years. But then some moves I think he decided to go down, sometimes it works, somtimes it doesn’t work.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Hamilton: Alonso is one of F1’s greats and deserved more success”

  1. Pretty much agree with Hamilton. I have always been a fan of Alonso the driver. Interesting about him being approached by RB while Horner was saying publicly Alonso was not the right fit for the team. Says something about Horner.

    1. OR it says something about Alonso and his ‘polemics’.

  2. Vettel – always manages to be so glib

    1. It’s Hamilton who is in effect saying how much better he was at playing the game than Alonso.

      1. @balue But he was. Not sure that makes him glib or not. I think he was trying to be affable but realistic.

  3. At the end of the day, he still won 32 GPs and 2 World Championships.
    He was the driver who ended Michael Schumacher’s reign (drove it home on a one-on-one title fight in 2006).

    His biggest career mistake(s) was walking out of McLaren-Mercedes at the end of 2007, and then not taking up Red Bull’s offer for 2008 and beyond. Had he shown a little more faith (and better foresight), he would have benefited from Adrian Newey’s genius and won a bunch of (if not all) championships between 2009 – 2013. But instead, he chose the pursue the “dream” of winning w/ Ferrari (and taking their $$$ to boot).

    So here he is today: multi-millionaire, 2x World Champ and serial grand prix winner.

    Could (should) have probably achieved more. But it is what it is.

    1. Yes, probably the best driver of the post schumacher era, and 2007 mclaren scandal is indeed the biggest mistake, predicting red bull would’ve been strong was hard, but had he remained at mclaren he’d have had some chance the following years, then could’ve gone at ferrari while hamilton went to mercedes and could’ve been there till recent times since he’d have gone there later than what actually happened and with a car such as 2017 or 2018 he’d have won at least a title.

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