Fernando Alonso dismisses Lewis Hamilton’s comments

Mercedes have been pessimistic about their chances this season after a tough start in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia showed them far off the pace.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso has pushed back at claims from Mercedes that their W14 car is not able to compete for front row positions.

The Spaniard believes that Mercedes is being completely open about their ability to fight for victories and maybe even titles this year.

The Brackley-based team has argued that they are not on the same level as Red Bull or, even, Aston Martin at points, with their ‘zeropod’ concept seemingly holding them back.

“I don’t like driving not great cars,” Hamilton said.

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“I don’t like driving a car that’s not the car we weren’t meant to have but I love that challenge of ‘OK, what can I do with it?”

Despite Hamilton’s musings, Mercedes still seems to be able to secure podiums, as seen at the Australian Grand Prix, when the seven-time world champion took P2.

Only the dominant Red Bull was able to hold off the Mercedes at the chequered flag, although Hamilton and his teammate George Russell did get the best of Max Verstappen off the line.  

Alonso has seen this performance in Melbourne as evidence that Mercedes is much more capable of fighting for podiums this season that it was in 2022. 

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“If you read their comments, it seems that they have a car that is not in Q3, but I don’t think that is that bad,” Alonso said.

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“It’s not as good as Red Bull – no one has a car close to Red Bull – but they are getting better and they will be a contender for wins soon.

“They did last year and they won a race after a very bad start, so I think this year they are also showing the potential they have.”

Mercedes currently sits in P3 in the Constructors’ Standings, close behind Aston Martin and a significant way behind leaders Red Bull, who have won all three races of the season and secure two one-two finishes.