Alonso: Hamilton both 'one of the best and luckiest' in F1

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Fernando Alonso says Lewis Hamilton was "lucky" to have a dominant car for so long in F1, but the Spaniard still rates the seven-time world champion as "one of the best" in the sport.

Contrary to Alonso who has raced for five teams in F1 – Minardi, Renault/Alpine, McLaren, Ferrari and Aston Martin – Hamilton has enjoyed a stable career, racing and winning with just two teams, McLaren and Mercedes.

The two drivers crossed paths at the Woking-based outfit in 2007 during Hamilton's maiden season in the sport. But it was a rocky relationship for the pair that compelled Alonso to move back to Renault after just a single year.

Fifteen seasons later, Alonso and Hamilton are once again battling each other out on the track, much to the Aston Martin driver's pleasure.

"I have a lot of respect for him. I think at the end of the day, we met in our careers [on] a few occasions," the Spaniard said.

"This year we fight closer together and with similar cars, especially at this part of the year. In Australia, we saw we were within two seconds the whole race and it was just a close fight."

As F1 veterans, Hamilton and Alonso enjoy very different track records in the sport. Questionable career moves have left the latter with just two world titles to his name compared to the Briton's seven crowns.

Alonso has often said that the sum of his achievements in F1 would look quite different had he been fortunate to drive winning cars in the past decade, a view shared by many.

Conversely, Hamilton's success at the pinnacle of motorsport would have been much lesser without Mercedes' dominant machines.

"I still think that he is one of the best drivers in the sport, and at the same time he had the luck to have a very dominant car for many years," added Alonso.

"So when you have a dominant car for many years, Michael [Schumacher] won seven [titles], Hamilton won seven, Max [Verstappen] will win three – let's say this year – and how many more we don't know.

"I won two, and in F1 you always need the best car to win the championship.

"If Hamilton had any problem during those years in Mercedes, Bottas would be five-times World Champion."

Alonso's remarkable run of podium performances this season with Aston Martin has put an outright win in the Spaniard's line of sight.

But what about the prospects of the 41-year-old achieving a third world title with Team Silverstone in 2024, and exiting the sport on a high?

"I am aware of my age. I know I won’t be here for the next ten years, so, somehow, when I stop competing, I’ll be linked to the team in some way," he told The New York Times.

"Winning a championship would be perfect. If I win another championship, so many years after the previous one, that distance between two championships would be unprecedented. That’s my goal right now.

"Also the legacy that I want to leave in this sport, that of someone who loves it so much that he continued to compete for many years at the highest possible level, that would prove a point."

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