Fernando Alonso doesn’t agree with Lewis Hamilton’s view on Red Bull’s dominance, saying the seven-time World Champion has a “short memory.”
After being overtaken by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with ease at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix two weeks ago, it prompted Hamilton to label the RB19 “the fastest car I’ve ever seen in F1” and suggested Red Bull’s dominance is even greater than what Mercedes managed at the peak of their success between 2014 and 2021.
“I’ve definitely never seen a car so fast,” he said. “I think when we [Mercedes] were fast, we weren’t that fast. I think it’s the fastest car I’ve seen, especially compared to the rest.”
But Alonso doesn’t agree with his former McLaren teammate’s opinion, taking the opportunity to make a joke about the seven-time World Champion’s age after making the comments.
“I don’t agree at all,” the 2005 and 2006 World Champion told French publication L’Equipe when asked about Hamilton’s opinion on Red Bull.
Fernando Alonso: Lewis Hamilton ‘has weaknesses’
The Spaniard pointed to the fact that he, in his Aston Martin, was able to finish considerably closer to the Red Bulls on track at the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit than the Mercedes drivers, and pointed to the often huge advantages Hamilton enjoyed early in the hybrid era.
“Last week [in Saudi Arabia] I finished 20 seconds behind Checo and Max [Verstappen],” Alonso said.
“He and [Nico] Rosberg were a minute ahead in 2014 and 2015… He has a short memory, he’s getting old!”
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With Hamilton no longer in the fastest car in Formula 1, Alonso pointed out that the Mercedes driver shows more normal levels of performance compared with the rest of the field.
“With a normal car, you can see that he has weaknesses,” Alonso suggested, leading with the example of George Russell leading the way in qualifying after the first two races of 2023.
“Before, he drove alone or sometimes with his team-mate. But look, he is the record holder for poles and George Russell has just given him a 2-0 in qualifying this season. It just goes to show how much the car is still a key factor…”.
Lewis Hamilton opens up on 2023 struggles
Speaking during Thursday’s media day ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, Hamilton opened up on why he is finding the W14 a handful to deal with – revealing that he feels the seating position within the car itself is proving an issue.
“I think we sit closer to the front wheels, our car is too close to the front,” he told media, including PlanetF1.com.
“When you’re driving, you feel like you sit on the front wheels which is one of the worst feelings if you’re driving a car.
“If you’re driving your car at home and all the wheels were around your legs you would not be happy.
“So what that does is just really changes the attitude in the car and how you perceive the movement and it just makes it harder to predict compared to when you are further back and you’re more centred. And it’s just something that I’ve really struggled with it.”