Fernando Alonso claims that Lewis Hamilton’s continued commitment to Formula 1 “motivates” every single driver on the current grid.
Alonso and Hamilton partnered each other for a solitary season at McLaren in 2007 but a breakdown in their relationship saw the Spaniard depart at the end of that year.
The Spaniard has still yet to secure an elusive third F1 championship, having opted to retire in 2018 following several years battling uncompetitive and unreliable machinery before returning again in 2021.
Meanwhile, Hamilton traded McLaren for Mercedes in 2013, taking advantage of the Brackley side’s dominance in the V6 turbo-hybrid engine era to become a seven-time World Champion and surpass the previous records for pole positions and race wins.
However, Hamilton has not added to his tally of 103 victories since the regulations were overhauled last year, with Red Bull becoming the dominant force at Mercedes’ expense.
Although Mercedes has struggled to get a handle on the latest ground effect cars, Hamilton signed a two-year extension earlier this year to remain in the sport through 2025.
When asked whether he suspects Hamilton would have left F1 already if he had been subjected to the machinery he has in his career, Alonso told GQ: “It’s difficult to say.
“We have different personalities and motivations. Lewis always did really well to stay focused and competitive in the periods of his life when he didn’t have a competitive package.
“Those periods weren’t many, but he was always performing to a high level. Now he’s not having the best car, Red Bull is dominating, but he’s still fighting always.
“He’s chasing [Sergio] Perez in P2 and he’s never giving up. It motivates all of us to see how Lewis keeps the motivation after winning so many titles.”
Hamilton’s hopes of pipping Perez to second place in the Drivers’ Championship took a seismic blow in the United States when he was disqualified from second place for a technical infringement related to plank wear.
Having recovered to record another second-place finish in Mexico City a week later, Mercedes concluded the Americas triple header with its worst showing of the season.
The German marque’s W14 car struggled with excessive tyre degradation and a compromised set-up choice at Interlagos, leaving Hamilton to trail home in eighth.
Mercedes’ unexpected troubles enabled Alonso and Aston Martin to return to the podium for only the second time since June and the eighth occasion overall this season.
The two-time F1 title winner is enjoying his most productive season since he was at Ferrari in 2013, currently sitting fourth in the standings with two rounds remaining.