Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have a troubled history stemming from the British drivers’ first season in Formula One. Both were driving for McLaren and when Hamilton refused to make way for Alonso in qualifying at the 2007 Hungarian GP, battle lines were drawn.
The two have experienced a number of flashpoints over the years with Fernando recently called Lewis an “idiot” last year as British driver collided with his Alpine on the first lap of the 2022 Belgium GP.
Alonso mocks Hamilton’s memory
Prior to the Australian GP, Fernando had mocked Lewis’ opinion that there has never been a faster F1 car than the current Red Bull. Alonso suggested Hamilton was suffering from memory loss because he failed to recall the dominance of previous Mercedes cars he’d driven.
“[In Saudi Arabia] I finished 20 seconds behind Checo and Max [Verstappen],” Alonso said. “He and [Nico] Rosberg were a minute ahead in 2014 and 2015… He has a short memory, he’s getting old!”
Alonso added that now Lewis’ was driving a car similar to everyone else his weaknesses are evident for all to see.
Hamilton’s weaknesses revealed
“With a normal car, you can see that he has weaknesses. Before, he drove alone or sometimes with his team-mate. But look, he is the record holder for poles and George Russell has just given him a 2-0 in qualifying this season. It just goes to show how much the car is still a key factor…”.
Russell ironically made that 3-0 two days later in qualifying for the Australian GP.
The surprise performance of the Aston Martin car this season has pitched Hamilton and Alonso on the same stretch of asphalt during each of the opening races of 2023.
Spectator injured at Australian GP
Alonso hunts down Hamilton
Fernando leads Hamilton in the drivers’ championship by 7 points following his 3 consecutive podium finishes, though Lewis gained the upper hand during the Australian GP.
During the early skirmishes of the race when George Russell took the lead from Verstappen, Hamilton managed to hold off attacks from Alonso which proved crucial towards the end of the race.
With Alonso hunting down Hamilton, Lewis repeatedly told the team he was unsure if he could maintain the pace. Time and again Fernando closed the gap only for Hamilton to respond and retain a little more than a 1 second lead preventing Alonso from using his DRS.
Sky hype up fake Lewis comment
At one point Sky’s commentator Karen Chandhok reported to have heard team radio from Hamilton saying, “There’s no way I’m losing to him”, which could be read as a response to Fernando’s comments earlier in the weekend.
Jenson Button who was also on commentary replied incredulously, “Did he say that? This is excellent.”
However closer examination of team radio reveals Lewis’ communications with his engineer Pete Bennington were somewhat different.
Reality quite different
Bono: “Gap at 1.2 to Alonso.”
Bono: “Alonso 21.7.”
Hamilton: “Know where I’m losing to him?”
Bono: “OK Lewis, standby.”
Alonso compliments Lewis post race
In the post race press briefings, Alonso was complimentary when asked about his race battle with Hamilton.
“In terms of pace, we were very close to Lewis, also through the race – but every time that I tried to get close, yes he seemed to pick up the pace.
“I tried to put some pressure but he had an incredible race, no mistakes at all, as you probably expect from him, a champion. But only one lock-up, I think, Turn 13, in 58 laps. So I was trying to put pressure but nothing happened. So yeah, I will take P3.”
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Still not quite over the chaos of Sunday… 🤯#AusGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/i4WBbZNJbu
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 3, 2023
Has there ever been a race where LH does not complain about tires? Or repeatedly stating that others are so quick? Such sad behaviour
RB and Max will run away with the WC’s this year. That’s fine. I’m glad to see a happy Alonso this year.