Hamilton has no doubt Alonso will be 'in great shape'

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Lewis Hamilton says Fernando Alonso won't be physically challenged upon his return to F1 next year, adding that the Spaniard's vast experience will be a big "bonus" for Renault.

Alonso will turn 40 next summer in the midst of his return season to Renault, possibly elevating him to Grand Prix racing's senior citizen if Kimi Raikkonen decides to retire from the sport.

"Experience definitely counts," said Hamilton. "Every team is pushing to develop and move forwards and evolve. Experience can help the team move in the right direction. So, that will definitely be a bonus.

"I don't know what it's like to be 40 yet, so I don't know how physically challenging it is.

"Michael [Schumacher] came here and I think he was physically great at that age. I have no doubt that Fernando can be in great shape.

"The bonus for me is I was the second-oldest and now I'm going back down to third-oldest. So, it's great!"

While Alonso's presence next season will undoubtedly add value to F1's grid, the prospect of losing Sebastian Vettel would be a disappointing one for Hamilton.

"The loss and the gain, I think whatever happens, Formula 1 is going to continue, whether we do or not," Hamilton said.

"They will replace us with somebody. If you look at the drivers that have stepped out over the past years, I don't think Formula 1 has lost anything. I think it has continued to grow in a positive direction.

"If Seb was to stop before his time, I think that would be a shame. I think he's got a lot more to give to the sport and a lot more to achieve.

"It's all about making sure we keep as many top drivers as possible. So we want to keep the world champions, Seb is a world champion, Fernando is a world champion. I think that's only good for the sport."

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