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Fernando Alonso Makes Bitter Claim About Lewis Hamilton's Success

Fernando Alonso Makes Bitter Claim About Lewis Hamilton's Success
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Fernando Alonso has made some sharp comments about rival Lewis Hamilton, as he suggested that Max Verstappen's two title wins are "more valuable" than Hamilton's seven.

Verstappen recently wrapped up his second F1 world championship with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, but he has a long way to go to catch Lewis Hamilton on seven.

Hamilton has won six of his seven world titles with his current team at Mercedes, who were dominant to varying degrees between 2014 and 2020.

Ahead of this weekend's Mexico City Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso made some pretty pointed remarks about the merits of Hamilton's success.

Fernando Alonso throws latest bout of bizarre shade at Lewis Hamilton

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso spoke to Dutch publication Telegraf in Mexico City this week, where he spoke about the comparison between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

His comments suggested that he does not see the merit of Hamilton's success when compared with the recent title wins for Verstappen:

I think Verstappen's titles are more valuable than what Hamilton has achieved. I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but it's different when you only race with your teammate and win 7 titles.

I never had to fight with my team-mate to win those titles. I didn't see Max fight with Perez or Albon to win races either. But Schumacher mainly fought with his teammate to become champion five times in a row, and Hamilton with Rosberg and Bottas - that is different, I think.

Though you would have to be foolish not to recognise the brilliance of Max Verstappen, particularly during his near-flawless 2022 season, it seems a bit of a stretch to compare his recent success with the legacy of Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton speak to the media at the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix (Photo: Shutterstock)

Alonso's claim that Hamilton's rival for the world championship has always been his teammate of course suggests that the rest of the cars on the grid were not capable of challenging him and his team, reducing the merit of those wins.

The claim, however, is not entirely true. For four of his title wins at Mercedes, Hamilton's main challenger was, indeed, his teammate. But, for his inaugural title win at McLaren in 2008 he was locked in a tight battle with the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, and the 2017 and 2018 seasons saw him best the pacey Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

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Alonso has previously made similar remarks about Hamilton's success, and that of the other great of their generation, Sebastian Vettel.

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Some unfortunate career choices have left Alonso scrapping for points at stages in his career, while Hamilton and Vettel raced away with championship and race win records. These latest comments only add to the sense that Alonso resents the success of his compatriots, and sees it as purely being down to the machinery at their disposal.

After Vettel's fourth straight title win in 2013 with Red Bull, Alonso said to the BBC:

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Time will tell us. When he will have a car like the others...if he wins, he will have a great recognition and he will be one of the legends of Formula 1. When one day he has a car like the others and he is 4th, 5th, 7th, these four titles will be bad news for him. People will take these four titles even in a worse manner than what they are doing now. There are interesting times for Sebastian coming.

Since that interview, there have been (at a stretch) two years where Vettel has been in the best car on the grid, and he has still added multiple race wins and podiums to his collection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doeUz0hfx7o

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Of course, the pace of the car is the crucial element in Formula 1. It is extremely rare for a driver outside of the top teams to wrangle their car to a world championship, but the talent of the drivers cannot be drawn into question. The best drivers are picked for the top teams for a reason, and they do still have to defeat their teammate in a head-to-head.

The fact that Hamilton has only been beaten by a teammate in a title battle once is testament to his ability to get the very most out of a car.

READ HERE: F1 Helmet Cam Footage Shows Nail-Biting Last Lap Alonso v Vettel Showdown

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Another element at play here is also the fact that Hamilton made a perfectly judged move to jump ship and go to Mercedes when they were not regular race winners ten years ago, and has contributed to building the team to the level they reached during their title run. Alonso has made more poorly judged gambles, and has ended up at uncompetitive cars at various points during his career.

Alonso and Hamilton were infamously teammates at McLaren during Hamilton's rookie year in 2007, when Alonso was the defending world champion. Their relationship crumbled over the course of the year, with Hamilton ultimately and sensationally tying with his vastly more experienced teammate for second place in the championship. Alonso left the team at the end of the year.

The bizarre comments from Alonso come after a race where he starred alongside Hamilton and Vettel in the United States. Alonso made a brilliant recovery after a scary crash with Lance Stroll dropped him down the order, and finished in P7. Just behind him was Vettel, who made a similarly impressive fightback after a slow pit stop, while Hamilton came close to taking a first race win of the season.

Fernando Alonso's latest comments on Lewis Hamilton and the Brit's success are, to a degree, understandable, and it cannot be denied that the Mercedes with which he won so many titles was, invariably, dominant. But it is also disappointing to hear a world champion discrediting another - simply put, you do not win seven world titles without your own talent playing at least some role in that success.

SEE ALSO: Seven Classic Tracks We'd Love To See Added To F1 22

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