Lewis Hamilton’s rivalry with Fernando Alonso is one that appears will never die, unlike Hamilton’s with Sebastian Vettel after the Brit opened up his “unexpected” friendship with the German driver.
It’s incredible to believe that Hamilton and Alonso’s time as team-mates at McLaren was 16 years ago, with their feud having reigned ever since.
With the pair rarely battling on a Grand Prix basis, their disputes tend to continue off the circuit, with Alonso having taken a swipe at the seven-time World Champion only a couple of weeks ago.
Alonso believes that Max Verstappen’s two World Championships are “worth more” than Hamilton’s seven, due to the Brit having supposedly only battled his “team-mate”.
“I also have a lot of respect for Lewis,” Alonso said prior to the Mexican Grand Prix.
“However, it is different when you win seven world titles when you have only had to fight with your team-mate.
“Then, I think a championship has less value than when you have fewer titles, but against other drivers you have had to contend with equivalent or even better equipment. In 2005 and 2006, I had a good start to the year myself and was able to create a lead. Then others might have had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap.”
It is somewhat comical that the online back-and-forths happen more often than not between the oldest and supposedly wisest drivers on the grid, with Hamilton’s response to the Spaniard’s comments having gone down incredibly on social media.
In response, the 37-year-old simply uploaded a photo of himself from 2007 standing on top of the United States Grand Prix podium, whilst a distraught Alonso stood in P2.
This was accompanied by a thumbs up.
Hamilton was asked about his response in Mexico, where he admitted Alonso’s comments made him “giggle”.
“I gave you it. That’s my thumbs up,” said Hamilton.
“I don’t really have a lot to say about it – it does make me giggle a little bit to be honest.
“But I have tried to be really respectful over the years and, for example, when you’ve ever asked me about who has been the better driver for me, I’ve always tried to give praise. It’s definitely interesting to see the comments that are made, but it doesn’t really matter. So that’s why I just gave the thumbs up.”
Alonso has recently been supported, though, by a fellow two-time F1 World Champion.
Emerson Fittipaldi has shared his opinion that Alonso is “correct” in his statement that Verstappen’s titles are worth more, due to the Dutchman having to fight against a “very close” field.
“Fernando is correct,” Fittipaldi told Vegas Insider.
“Max Verstappen has had to compete with more drivers than Lewis Hamilton. [It’s] very difficult to analyse but the point that Fernando mentioned has merit because now it is extremely competitive.
“Much more than when Lewis was winning the championships – that was against his team-mate.
“Now you have Max, who is against a lot of different people. If you think about it, yes, Fernando is correct.
“The level, the gap among the top five cars in any qualifying this year is very close. Much closer than when Lewis and Nico [Rosberg] or Lewis and [Valtteri] Bottas were there. They were quite superior to the field. Now the field is very close. I like it now.”