‘Lewis Hamilton is a better driver than Fernando Alonso and here’s why…’

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, shake hands. Australia, April 2023.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, and Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, shake hands on the podium. Australia, April 2023.

Formula 1 pundit Peter Windsor has explained why he believes Lewis Hamilton is a better driver than long-term rival Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton and Alonso are two of the greatest drivers the sport has ever seen, with their career forever linked by the single season they spent as team-mates at McLaren in 2007.

As a 22-year-old debutant, Hamilton matched reigning double World Champion Alonso from the off as the pair ended the campaign equal on points and race victories, with their careers heading in different directions in the years since.

While Hamilton stands as the most statistically successful driver in F1 history, having equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World Champions in 2020 before becoming the first driver to take more than 100 race wins the following year, Alonso remains stuck on the two titles he secured with Renault in 2005/06.

Unless he can end the drought at this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, having finished on the podium in the opening three races of 2023 for Aston Martin, this month will mark an entire decade since the last of his 32 grand prix victories for Ferrari at his home race in Barcelona.

Asked to name the better driver of the two during a recent YouTube stream, Windsor pointed to Hamilton’s speed over his single lap and his reaction in the face of adversity given Alonso’s reputation for burning bridges with his teams.

He said: “I think, overall, Lewis – and I think because he’s everything.

“He’s good at everything he does.

“He’s a better qualifier than Alonso, he’s quicker over one lap, and I think he’s a more balanced [driver].

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“I don’t think he fragments a team in the way Alonso does when things aren’t going his way. I don’t think you can accuse Lewis of doing that.

“I think Lewis knows exactly what he needs in order to be quick and I’m not sure Fernando [does] to that extent.

“I think Fernando’s so good at driving an inferior car that sometimes he’s probably not as good as Lewis at knowing what it is he needs to do in order to take the next step to be super, super quick with that car.

“I think that’s a talent that Lewis has and maybe Fernando doesn’t.

“A little bit like Jochen Rindt wasn’t the greatest test driver because he kept adapting to all the foibles of the car, a bit like Ronnie Peterson, whereas [Mario] Andretti wouldn’t drive a car on the limit unless it was more or less where he wanted it to be.

“I’m not saying Lewis doesn’t drive any car on the limit, but I think he knows where to go with the car.

“And I think he’s got a slightly more simple approach to racing as well.

“He’s not quite as political as Fernando, not quite as emotional as Fernando.”

During a recent interview with Spanish publication Marca, Alonso insisted he has “a lot of respect” for Hamilton but claimed the Mercedes driver is fortunate to have spent so much of his career in race-winning machinery.

“I still think he’s one of the best ever, but at the same time he’s been lucky or lucky enough to be in a dominant car for many years and when that happens, Schumacher won seven titles, Lewis won seven, [Max] Verstappen is on his way to his third, I won two.

“To be champion you need the best car.”