With Lewis Hamilton off to a slow start this Formula 1 season, Fernando Alonso has commented on his former team-mate’s situation, saying that you can’t always have the best F1 car.
The return to reality has been quite brutal for Lewis Hamilton. Indeed, after having been at the wheel of the best single-seater since 2014, the British driver has a Mercedes that is not as good as the German brand’s previous cars. As a result, Lewis Hamilton has been in great difficulty since the beginning of the season, to the point that his new teammate, George Russell, is already performing better.
With Williams, Russell has become accustomed to battling in a car that is far from the frontrunners, while Lewis Hamilton has become very much used to driving a near-perfect car. Asked to comment on his former McLaren team-mate’s situation, Fernando Alonso compared it to his own, recalling that at Renault, when he won his two world titles in 2005 and 2006, he had the best car in the field before being forced to fight with slower cars.
“So, yeah – welcome to my world!” says the Spaniard,
“That’s the nature of our sport. Sometimes you have a better car, sometimes you don’t have such a good car and you always have to fight and make progress. This year we see that the driver is very important in F1 but not crucial.
“Lewis is driving as well as he has been for the last eight years, I’m sure. He was dominating the sport and breaking all the records, with 100 and some pole positions. And now, when he does a mega lap – as he says – he’s a second behind. So, yeah – welcome to my world!
“It will never be a fair sport in terms of numbers. It’s a team sport more than anything and we tend to forget that, especially when we’re successful. We are so happy with what we achieve that even though we try to share with the team, all the headlines are for the driver.
It happened to me when I won my two championships [in 2005 and 2006 with Renault F1]. I beat Michael Schumacher. It was a big thing, but my car was more reliable at that time and had very good performance and I could praise that as much as I could, the big titles were always for the driver.
And with Lewis it’s the same. To have more than 100 pole positions in F1 is something unthinkable. You have to have the best car and the best package for many, many years,”