Alonso enjoying on-track scraps with “very tough competitor” Hamilton again

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Fernando Alonso says he has enjoyed renewing his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton this year after the pair went up against each other again in Melbourne.

Hamilton out-ran Alonso to finish second in the last race. However in Bahrain two races earlier Alonso successfully chased down and overtook his former team mate and 2007 world championship adversary to claim the last podium place.

Alonso said he enjoyed his latest encounter with Hamilton, despite his rival prevailing in their contest. “It is a very good thing,” said Alonso. “He’s a legend of our sport.

“We saw in Australia, I think we spent the whole race within two seconds of distance, playing with the distance a little bit. He has no weak point, he does no mistakes.

“He’s a very tough competitor. To beat him, you need always something special. So this is the type of guys that you want to challenge.”

The Aston Martin driver is also eager to take the fight to Max Verstappen, who has won two of the three races so far this year.

“It’s the same with Max at the moment, he seems unbreakable,” said Alonso. “The Red Bull is fast. He does no mistakes. So one day, you will like to fight him. To see any weaknesses in his driving at the moment, it’s difficult to see.

“It’s the same with Lewis. You need a special weekend to beat them and this is what really motivates everyone.”

Selected Alonso radio messages from the Australian Grand Prix

When Alonso tried to close on Hamilton during the Australian Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver was able to respond. Alonso made one attempt following a Virtual Safety Car period which had been triggered by the retirement of Hamilton’s team mate George Russell:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Lap: 19/58
CroninLean on the front-right. VSC is ending, so go back to start. On the right switch, start.
Lap: 20/58
CroninHamilton 0.9 ahead, Gasly 3.4 behind.
AlonsoLevel five, mate. Race is long. We are one Mercedes out, one Ferrari out.
CroninYeah, copy mate. Agreed. So these tyres are still warming back up, so they’re still below what they were before the VSC.
Lap: 22/58
CroninGap to Hamilton 1.9, Gasly 2.6. Gasly is under pressure from Sainz behind, so he’s pushing.

Later in the race Alonso made another attempt to close on Hamilton, but again the Mercedes driver responded by increasing his pace:

Lap: 37/58
CroninCopy mate, there’s 22 laps to go.
CroninHamilton 1.1, Sainz 1.3. 1.2 for Sainz.
Lap: 38/58
CroninHamilton is 1.0.
Lap: 40/58
CroninHamilton 1.7, Sainz 1.5.
AlonsoDifficult to get close, mate.
CroninYeah, copy. It’s 18 laps to go after this one.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing £1 per month or £12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

    Browse all 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix articles

    Author information

    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...
    Claire Cottingham
    Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    4 comments on “Alonso enjoying on-track scraps with “very tough competitor” Hamilton again”

    1. Tough? Boy, does it sound sarcastic

      1. Sounds more like you are projecting your own feelings about one or the other driver onto the words being spoken.

    2. I don’t think so. It’s usually easy to tell when Alonso is being sarcastic as he has made many hilariously sarcastic compliments / comments designed to get under the skin of another driver before. Like when he said Massa waa his fastest ever teammate while teammates w/Kimi and it was clearly meant as a jab at Kimi). To be fair though, while Alonso dominated Massa, he dominated Kimi much more (often finishing 40+ seconds/6 places ahead of Kimi and winning their quali battle something like 15-3). Clearly though, LH had been his toughest and only teammate to truly challenge him.

      1. Ah, strange he said that, since indeed hamilton has been more competitive than massa the year he faced alonso.

    Comments are closed.