Alonso: Hamilton partnership would be very different

Date published: August 21 2016 - Editor

Despite a tension-fraught season together, Fernando Alonso believes it would be "very different" today if he were to team up with Lewis Hamilton.

The duo were team-mates back in 2007 at McLaren. It was Hamilton's rookie season whereas Alonso was on the bill as a double World Champion.

But with Hamilton showing impressive pace and McLaren refusing to give Alonso number one status, the relationship proved tenuous at best, volatile at worst.

Alonso, however, says if they were to ever team up again, it would be a "very different" relationship.

"I think it would be different," he told ESPN. "I'm more mature, he's more mature. The teams now are, in a way, more prepared for all the situations.

"If I was team-mate of Lewis one day I think it would be very different, because we have learned and we are very different people. We no longer have that… let's say that stress of winning on the side because I think we respect each other a lot.

"Everyone respects us a lot and we would drive as fast as we can but with another level of respect."

The double World Champion reckons it would be a big draw card for the public, especially if they were at the front fighting for race wins and World titles.

He added: "I think everyone would love it, but only if the team is competitive, because it is the same case as Jenson [Button] and me [at McLaren].

"We have a strong team now and we could fight for many important things, but when the car is not competitive your weekends are a little bit anonymous. You come here, you do your race and you go and no one will notice if you did a fantastic qualifying lap, if you did a mistake in qualifying and you are out of Q1.

"We had some mistakes this year, we had some traffic in Baku – where we were more or less competitive – and we were 14th and 15th in qualifying because of the traffic. Who noticed that? No one, because all the things in the weekend are a little bit anonymous when you are not fighting for the World Championship.

"I think yes, Formula One, or the fans, or everyone will love to see the big names, or the champions, fighting for the wins but this is probably not possible because in the DNA of the sport only one team can win."

And although the Spaniard faces the prospect of racing against another rookie, Stoffel Vandoorne, next season at McLaren, he insists there won't be a repeat of the 2007 troubles.

"In 2007 it was very unique because Lewis was very protected by McLaren from a very young age, he was part of the programme, and he was very fast. We had a very competitive car so we were certainly fighting for the World Championship when no one was expecting… and he was British. So, Stoffel is not British. That's enough of the difference, I think [to avoid a repeat]."