Alonso glad Hamilton will match Fangio

Fernando Alonso says he is pleased his sometime title rival Lewis Hamilton is set to become the first of his generation to match Juan Manuel Fangio's five Formula 1 championships.

Alonso glad Hamilton will match Fangio

If Hamilton outscores fellow four-time champion Sebastian Vettel by eight points in this weekend's United States Grand Prix, he will join Fangio on five titles - with only Michael Schumacher's record of seven F1 crowns ahead of that.

Alonso said he rated Hamilton among the top five drivers in F1 history.

"Probably Michael, Fangio, [Ayrton] Senna, [Alain] Prost, Lewis. Probably these will be the top five," said Alonso when asked to make his pick.

"It is difficult to compare different times and different ways to win those championships.

"Lewis winning five now and being the same as Fangio is a great achievement.

"If one had to do that in a generation I am happy it is Lewis as he showed talent and commitment when the car was dominating and won championships, and when the car was not good enough to win championships he put in some performances to show his talent. That is difficult to see in our days."

Hamilton and Alonso fought for the 2007 title when they were teammates at McLaren, in a year when Alonso arrived at the team from Renault as an established double F1 champion and Hamilton was a rookie graduating from GP2.

Both were pipped by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in a dramatic season.

Alonso has been unable to add to his championship tally since, while Hamilton won the title at the second attempt before racking up further crowns with Mercedes.

Asked if he could have imagined Hamilton notching up five titles back in 2007, Alonso replied: "Probably at that time it was difficult to imagine what the future could bring for Lewis and for any of the guys on the grid.

"But definitely he had showed the talent from day one.

"Fighting for the championship in his rookie year, winning in 2008, probably at that time we all agreed that five or seven world championships would be possible.

"Then it was a little bit down due to the performance of the car for a couple of years.

"Switching to Mercedes, we were all thinking that was not positive as Mercedes was struggling in 2013, but it is up and down.

"I am happy for him as he showed talent from day one, he was able to win races where the car was able to win. It is impressive."

Second place Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-22, congratulates third place Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-22

Second place Fernando Alonso, McLaren MP4-22, congratulates third place Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-22

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / LAT Images

shares
comments
Hamilton: Schumacher will "100%" make it to F1

Previous article

Hamilton: Schumacher will "100%" make it to F1

Next article

Ferrari will "punch back hard" - Hamilton

Ferrari will "punch back hard" - Hamilton
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021