Lewis Hamilton told he is ‘playing with fire’ after Fernando Alonso jibe

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton shakes hands with Fernando Alonso after they both finish on the Canada podium. Net worth

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both appear at the top of the net worth list of current F1 drivers.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were back at it with the light-hearted digs in Canada, but 1996 F1 champ Damon Hill feels Hamilton should be careful poking that particular bear with talk of age.

The former team-mates treated us to a fresh on-track battle at the Canadian Grand Prix, Alonso left with an overtake to make in his Aston Martin after losing P2 at the start to Mercedes’ Hamilton.

Alonso ultimately got the move done, going on to claim a P2 finish with Hamilton crossing the line four-and-a-half seconds behind.

Lewis Hamilton talks Fernando Alonso age

After the race though, that swap of positions at the start formed the basis for a cheeky comment from Hamilton in the TV pen, who joked Alonso’s “reactions are a little slow… it’s an age thing”.

Alonso responded with a firm slap on the shoulder, responding: “In Austria, two weeks’ time.”

That is of course a reference to the next round of the F1 2023 campaign, the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, a venue where Hamilton has won once before back in 2016.

Both Hamilton and Alonso will go there hoping to put a stop to the Red Bull dominance, Championship leader Max Verstappen on a run of four wins in a row, but Hill feels Hamilton was pushing his luck somewhat with little digs like that one in Montreal, considering Hamilton, at the age of 38, is not far off joining Alonso in the 40s club.

“I thought he was playing with fire a little bit with the friendly dig he gave Fernando Alonso about jumping him at the start, saying that it’s because he’s a bit old now,” Hill told Express Sport.

“Because the second oldest guy in Formula 1 is Lewis Hamilton!”

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Fernando Alonso showing Lewis Hamilton the way

And on the topic of driver age, Hill says Alonso is something of a career inspiration for Hamilton at this stage, as he is showing the seven-time champ that age is no barrier to remaining on peak form as a Formula 1 driver.

While Hamilton remains out of contract at Mercedes as it stands come the end of F1 2023, he is widely expected to agree new terms with the team as he chases that record eighth World Championship.

“The good thing is that Fernando shows there’s life after 40,” said Hill. “Lewis is probably thinking: ‘Great, I’ve got a few more seasons.'”

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton key F1 personalities

That moment in Canada between Alonso and Hamilton was far from their first banter exchange, their F1-related interactions of course not always so light-hearted, and it will not be the final one either.

And this dynamic is great for Formula 1, its growing fanbase, made up of long-standing spectators and new observers, united in getting to see these F1 greats battling it out, on the track and verbally, at the sharp end of the grid, a scene which Alonso has been absent from for far too long.

Hamilton playing with that fire so to speak just adds another layer to the story which, as Hill points out, should hopefully continue for years to come with neither driver showing any signs of age catching up to them.

Of course, both are in the twilight stage of their respective careers now, so we must enjoy it while it lasts.