Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were involved in a heated 3 way battle for the world title in 2007. Hamilton was in his rookie season but had taken pretty well to the pressures of an F1 calendar.
Both Hamilton and Alonso lost out on the title though, as Kimi Raikkonen clinched his first world title in dramatic circumstances.
Ever since then Alonso and Hamilton haven’t been involved in a direct title battle, something that has robbed the fans of some really exciting on and off track battles.
Hamilton feels that Alonso could have won a lot more titles had he been better with his decision making. He has also taken a dig at Alonso for being a little arrogant in 2014 when he felt that he controlled the driver market.
The Brit feels that Alonso did not take into account Vettel and Hamilton himself, both of whom had brilliant bargaining power.
Vettel moved to Ferrari and Alonso couldn’t find a spot at Red Bull or Mercedes, thus forcing him to move to a midfield team.
“I don’t regret he didn’t go in a better car,” Hamilton said as quoted by Motorsport.com
“For the sport, when I am just doing a press conference with him, it’s questions to the two world champions, but in my mind I know he could have had more world titles. But ultimately it’s not like he didn’t have opportunities.
Lewis Hamilton says Fernando Alonso’s key career mistake was thinking he “controlled” the F1 driver market when he left Ferrarihttps://t.co/REdEu7KZjG
— Autosport (@autosport) November 1, 2018
“He was a top driver and he could go almost where he wanted to go. And decisions are very very key. Decisions are where you place yourself. It is key though if you wrongly think you control the driver market.
“For him he believed he controlled it [in 2014]. In my understanding, there was also Seb [Vettel] and me at the time, and as soon as he gave up the position [at Ferrari], Seb grabbed it and then it’s not like he could go back.
“And then he was like: I’ll go for Seb’s spot, but then they filled it, and then he was like, ‘Oh, shit’. And there was no place where I was [at Mercedes].” he added.
Lewis did compliment Alonso about how he has been able to maintain such high amounts of respect amongst the F1 fan community(and amongst the drivers) for so long.
“But I have so much respect for him. He is a phenomenal driver and I think through these years it has not been a bad thing because his respect level has still remained very, very high – of how he has driven, and how he has conducted himself exploring outside in different realms.
“I could make the decision to leave this team and go somewhere else, which would be a risk, and that decision could either bode well or go bad for me.” Hamilton said.
Hamilton then went onto speak about that crazy rookie season of his in 2007, where in he was Alonso’s teammate at McLaren and was involved in a tough 3 way fight with Raikkonen and Alonso for the title.
He admitted that the car was strong but it was really tough to deal with the pressure of the title race and all the sudden fame that he was getting because of his performances.
“I feel like people underestimate that season,” he said.
“They skim past it so much. Yes I did, unlike other people, come in to a top team. But it is easier probably in some respects to be in a lower team where you don’t have so much pressure on you.
“Being in a top team straight away and having to try to deliver to a two-time world champion who has been through what I have been through to this point almost, is a huge demand, and it was one of the toughest years of my life to balance everything.
“Plus, I had not had any fame. All of a sudden people were taking pictures of me, travelling more than ever. It was tough, but looking back now I really appreciate that year, but I wish I knew then what I know now.” he concluded.
Do you think Alonso has been pretty arrogant with his decisions in F1 or it has been simple bad luck for him?