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Luis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton speaks to AS about F1 and Fernando Alonso

The world champion and current leader in this year's standings gave us his views on some of the rumours surrounding Spain's Alonso in the first part of his interview

Lewis Hamilton speaks to AS about F1 and Fernando Alonso
STEPHANIE LECOCQ EFE

Lewis Hamilton's face lights up when our conversation moves on to Fernando Alonso. The English driver regards the Spaniard as a great rival and will always remember the unforgettable 2007 campaign. Times have changed but Hamilton still is anxious to compete with the Asturian despite talk of retirement. The Mercedes driver talks affectionately about Alonso as can been seen in this advance of our exclusive interview with the three times Formula 1 World champion.

Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda walks in the Paddock during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium

-I have a question about Fernando Alonso.

-Of course.

-There's something I've always wanted to know, a lot of people talk about Fernando Alonso as being the best, or one of the best, but in 2007 Lewis Hamilton arrives in Formula 1 and everything changed for the Spaniard.

-Are you blaming it all on me?

-No, it's not a question of blame, and it wasn't just you, it was everything around Alonso back then, but it's true that everything changed for Fernando then.

-No, I don’t see it like that. Although it wasn't a great time in my life either, well it was good in that I had just gotten to Formula 1, and I beat the two time world champion, but there was lots of problems during that phase of my life, and I think also for him. From there, there were decisions and choices that we individually made in each of our lives that have lead us to wherever we are today. So I don’t feel that I was a a part of the road he's been on. I think he is still regarded as one of the best drivers out there, and he definitely is by me. I’ve always said that Fernando is one of the best drivers there is. I really hope McClaren provides him with a car that he can win with, so I can race the guy.

-And yet people are talking about him possibly retiring.

-If he was to retire next year, and I didn’t get to race him again, it would really suck. That would really, really suck. It wouldn't be a good image of what this sport is about. F1 wouldn't mean as much if Alonso doesn't continue. You can't let someone as gifted as he is stop driving because he's so far back and because he won't get another chance to win. It wouldn't be right.

605571159Mercedes AMG Petronas' British driver Lewis Hamilton (L) takes a selfie picture with his mobile phone with McLaren Honda's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (

-Do yo think there's a real possibility of him retiring?

-For sure. He's 35 years old, he's made enough money.

-I don't think it would be about the money...

-He’s raced enough, he’s experienced enough, Formula 1 is not what defines him. He’s a two-time world champion. He’s a legend already. So he can decide if he wants to stop and ultimately he prepares himself every year to win, to fight for the championship and if he’s just not getting the opportunity... I think he’s faced it really well over these years.

-How would you have faced the situation?

-I probably would have been way worse if I were starting dead last in a team which should be winning more championships and I think he’s handling it really well. For sure, he has grown through these years and I think, hopefully, next year they’ll give him a car that he can fight with and I want to see him continue and I want to battle with him.

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