Lewis Hamilton may be upset as Alonso makes explosive Verstappen claim
Lewis Hamilton reveals the Queen told him off at the Royal lunch
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Double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has suggested that Max Verstappen’s world titles are worth more than most of Lewis Hamilton’s due to Mercedes’ past streak of dominance. The Spaniard claims that winning the Championship after fighting with a team-mate is ‘different’ to battling with other members of the field.
Hamilton partnered Alonso at McLaren, causing a stir in his F1 rookie year by taking the fight to the reigning champion. The Brit won one world title there before moving onto Mercedes, where he added six more in a dominant streak between 2014 and 2020.
In that seven-season period, Hamilton scooped up six titles with Nico Rosberg’s 2016 triumph the only exception. Mercedes drivers benefitted from a clear pace advantage as the Silver Arrows collected eight constructors’ titles in a row.
With seven championships to his name, Hamilton is alongside Michael Schumacher at the top of the all-time charts. He may, however, be upset to discover Alonso’s interpretation as the Alpine star appeared to belittle his former team-mate’s success.
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“I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but still it is different when you win seven world titles when you only had to fight with your team-mate,” he said. “Then I think a championship has less value than when you have fewer titles but have had to fight against other drivers with equal or even better material.
“In 2005 and 2006, I had a good start to the year myself and was able to create a lead. Then others might have had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap. I never had to fight with my team-mate to win those titles. Nor did I see Max fighting with [Sergio] Perez or [Alex] Albon to win races.
“But [Michael] Schumacher in particular fought with his team-mate to become champion five times in a row and Hamilton fought with Rosberg and [Valtteri] Bottas. That’s different, I think.”
Over the past two years, Verstappen has had to fight with drivers outside of his stable to achieve back-to-back titles. Last season he came out on top after a breathless battle with Hamilton that culminated in a gripping but contentious one-lap shootout in Abu Dhabi. The controversy didn’t stop there, either, as FIA race director Michael Masi was sacked for his role in the drama and Red Bull were found to have breached the spending cap.
This season, Verstappen’s nearest challengers have been Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez. After a shaky start to the year, there was simply no catching the Red Bull star as he rubber-stamped his second crown in Japan earlier this month.
Alonso is full of praise for the Dutchman and hopes, despite his age, that he has the opportunity to challenge him in a competitive car before he retires. “We have hardly fought each other,” explained Aston Martin’s new recruit. “That’s very unfortunate. I want to fight with the best drivers and Max is part of that.
“I have been lucky enough to fight with Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher in the past, but I have never had that chance with Max.”
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