Lewis Hamilton praised one of his biggest rivals in Formula 1, Spaniard Fernando Alonso, declaring that both he and F1 will miss the two-time Asturian world champion when he retires from F1 at the end of the season.
Hamilton confessed that he has matured significantly since he and Alonso were teammates at McLaren in 2007, a year when their personal relationship deteriorated.
“We have had good and bad moments,” the English driver told the media in the context of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that will end the season this weekend.
“We have grown. Obviously he was here before me and he accomplished incredible things (…). It was a privilege to be at the same time that he raced, “praised Hamilton.
“I will miss him? Yes, I think the sport will miss it, “he added.
Alonso will seek to become the second man to achieve the Triple Crown of motorsport next season, for which he needs to win the Indianapolis 500, after having the Monaco GP and the 24 Hours of Le Mans on his record.
A decade after the first of his five F1 titles, Hamilton said he had no particular animosity towards Alonso.
“I don’t feel like I had a personal problem with Fernando,” said Hamilton. “I think it was more because of how the team worked, the situation they put us in and how that was handled,” he explained.
“I don’t think we necessarily had a problem with each other, except that we were trying to beat each other.”
“I think, naturally, we are older, mature men now, and the respect between us, I want to think, is greater than ever and I do not think that will change,” he concluded. AFP