Lewis Hamilton has welcomed Fernando Alonso back to Formula 1 and has no doubt he can return in “great shape”.
On Wednesday, Renault confirmed the worst kept secret in Formula 1 by officially announcing Alonso as part of their 2021 line-up.
It will see the end of Alonso’s hiatus from the sport after two seasons away and he will be back at Renault for the third time in his career.
Alonso was the name on everyone’s lips during media day at the Red Bull and his old foe turned friend Hamilton thinks the Spaniard’s return is great for Formula 1.
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) July 9, 2020
“The more top drivers we have the better it is for the sport,” Hamilton told the media in the FIA drivers’ press conference.
“I’ve not spoken to him so I don’t know his reasons, but congratulations to him.
Alonso will turn 40 during the 2021 season, raising the question about whether he is too old to compete at the very top level.
Alonso himself has dismissed those concerns and Hamilton feels that his experience will count for a lot.
“I would imagine there’s pros and cons,” Hamilton added.
“Definitely experience counts for a lot and when you’re working with a team particularly like Renault, well every team is, pushing to develop and move forward and evolve, experience can help the team move in the right direction.
“So that will definitely be a bonus for them.
“I don’t know what it’s like to be 40 yet. So, I don’t know how it is physically challenging.
“Michael came here I think he was physically great at that age. So, I have no doubts that Fernando can be in great shape.”
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen, the oldest driver on the grid, as said there is just no saying how long a Formula 1 can go on for before they retire for good.
“It’s impossible to answer. I think it’s a very individual thing,” Raikkonen said.
“If you stay healthy and you don’t have any injuries and issues that will dictate a lot of things.
“Everybody will feel different. I’m sure there’s some point the limit comes, because the older you get things get more and more tricky.
“But I don’t feel that is happening at all yet. I don’t think anybody has an answer on that, everybody is different.”