Fernando Alonso makes big claim about Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas partnered Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for five years, following Nico Rosberg retiring from Formula 1.

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso has interestingly claimed that Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas could’ve been a five-time World Champion, had Lewis Hamilton run into issues with Mercedes.

Alonso has had a few interesting words to say about his former team-mate at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, who he insists is “one of the best in history”.

Hamilton and Alonso had a fiery season together at McLaren in 2007, where both drivers were at completely different stages of their F1 career.

Hamilton was, of course, a rookie back in 2007, whilst Alonso was the reigning World Champion.

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Alonso entered his partnership with the seven-time World Champion as a back-to-back World Champion, after claiming the 2005 and 2006 titles for Renault.

Their relationship was frosty to say the least, mostly due to the pair having both battled for the title and lost.

Since then, the pair have “rarely” been amongst the same battle, with Alonso having been towards the back of the field for the bulk of Hamilton’s career since he made the switch from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013.

With that in mind, Alonso hopes to be battling Hamilton “a little more” this season, given how close Aston Martin and Mercedes are in the pecking order.

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“In our careers, we have rarely coincided in the same part of the track,” Alonso told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca at Baku.

“Maybe this year we find ourselves racing together a little more with similar cars. But yes, I still think he is one of the best in history.”

The duo will likely do battle on Sunday at the Baku City Circuit, given that the pair will start the main race from the third row.

Whilst Alonso praised Hamilton for being “one of the best”, the 41-year-old also labelled the 103-time race winner as “lucky”.

The Spaniard seemingly believes that Hamilton’s seven titles have come thanks to having the best car, something he states is needed “to be champion”.

“At the same time, he has been lucky, or he has been known to be in a dominant car for many years. And when that happens, Schumacher won seven times, Lewis also seven, Verstappen is on his way to a third, I won two,” Alonso said.

“To be champion, you need the best car.”

READ: George Russell blasts FIA over ‘crazy’ Azerbaijan GP call

With that in mind, Alonso believes Bottas would’ve won the title every season he was alongside Hamilton had the British driver encountered any issues with Mercedes, something which saw Nico Rosberg win the 2016 title.

“Another one for all of the drivers,” said Alonso, when asked if the situation would’ve been different had driver line-ups not been the same.

“If he had had a problem at Mercedes in those years, Bottas could have five titles. That’s how it works.”