“He just couldn’t imagine a rookie going as fast as a two-time World Champion”– Fernando Alonso couldn’t believe a rookie would beat him.
Lewis Hamilton broke into Formula 1 with quick success, and with his talent, he managed to sustain it even after 14 years, scaling his win tally to 100.
Lewis Hamilton having dinner with all the drivers that have 100 wins 🍽 pic.twitter.com/lSTGvm9B0o
— ESPN F1 (@ESPNF1) September 27, 2021
But when he started, he was an immediate threat to back then defending world champion Fernando Alonso, and Nobert Haug, former head of Mercedes motorsport, couldn’t imagine that a rookie like Hamilton would be able to match him.
“Fernando Alonso provided the best example,” the German told Servus TV. “He just couldn’t imagine a rookie going as fast as a two-time World Champion. But it was like that with Lewis back then.”
Hamilton’s relationship with Alonso was anything but cordial, but the duo often blames it on the circumstances and personally claim to hold no grudges when looking back to their past.
In conversation with Sky Italia, Hamilton recently informed that when he was Alonso’s partner, he was a different person. Over the years, the Briton has matured and managed to have a stable partnership with Valtteri Bottas.
The 36-year-old race driver would be partnered with George Russell in Mercedes next year, as Bottas is moving to Alfa Romeo.
A remarkable achievement
The biggest public reservation over Hamilton’s statistical supremacy is the argument that Hamilton always had a superior car in the turbo-hybrid era. However, Haug thinks that his numbers are still remarkable.
“Lewis has achieved his 100 victories in 15 years and 281 appearances,” he said. “So, on average, he won almost every third race. Even if he often had the best car, that is extremely remarkable.”
Hamilton is contesting against max Verstappen to win his eighth championship, in which he is leading by only two points.