Formula 1 veteran Fernando Alonso shared his admiration for his former teammate and rival, Lewis Hamilton, acknowledging that the seven-time champion continues to be a source of inspiration for all drivers on the grid.
The two renowned drivers, Alonso and Hamilton, found themselves as teammates at McLaren in 2007, marking Hamilton’s rookie season in the sport. The intensity of their relationship was palpable from the start, fueled by their championship duel that season. Despite the on-track rivalry, a deep mutual respect has characterized their relationship off the circuit.
Reflecting on their extensive careers in Formula 1, Alonso pointed out that while both drivers have navigated the highs and lows of the sport, Hamilton has experienced fewer periods without a competitive car. The years 2022 and 2023 have proven to be particularly challenging for Hamilton, as Mercedes no longer holds the dominant position it once did. Despite this, Alonso commended Hamilton’s unyielding determination and hunger for success.
Hamilton’s quest for an unprecedented eighth Drivers’ Championship serves as the driving force behind his motivation. Even during the challenging seasons of 2022 and 2023, as evidenced by his last victory at the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton remains committed to bringing Mercedes back to the forefront. This commitment is exemplified by his recent decision to extend his contract with Mercedes until at least the end of 2025.
Acknowledging Hamilton’s relentless pursuit of success, Alonso emphasized that the 38-year-old driver has not wavered in his ambition, even when faced with a less competitive car. Alonso highlighted Hamilton’s ongoing battle with Sergio Perez for second place in the Drivers’ Championship, showcasing the Briton’s unwavering spirit.
“It’s difficult to say,” Alonso stated in an interview with GQ when asked if Hamilton would maintain the same level of motivation in a midfield team. “We have different personalities and motivations. Lewis always did really well to stay focused and competitive in the periods of his life when he didn’t have a competitive package. Those periods weren’t many, but he was always performing to a high level. Now he’s not having the best car, Red Bull is dominating, but he’s still fighting always. He’s chasing Perez in P2, and he’s never giving up. It motivates all of us to see how Lewis keeps the motivation after winning so many titles.”
In essence, Alonso’s words echo the sentiment shared by many in the Formula 1 community – Lewis Hamilton’s enduring commitment to excellence is not only a testament to his individual prowess but also a motivational force that resonates throughout the entire grid.