Fernando Alonso was teammates with Lewis Hamilton back in 2007. It was a highly political and controversial year at McLaren, including the infamous Spygate story.
Nonetheless, it was a fascinating battle between the duo on the circuit as Hamilton and Alonso both finished the season on 109 points, a single point behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who stole the championship at the death.
Hamilton is going for a fifth consecutive Drivers’ Championship and his eighth overall in 2021. An eighth title would put him one clear of Michael Schumacher.
Asked if a driver needs to do a perfect job with a perfect team and having the luck to beat Hamilton, the two-time World Champion agreed. He also believes Hamilton’s performances in recent years aren’t being valued enough.
"Yes, it is what you say," Alonso said to Spanish publication Marca.
"It seems he is in an ideal moment in terms of his driving and his role in the team and even with a bit of luck because he had some in Imola. So you need to value what he is doing. Does he have the best car? Yes. But, with the best car you need to deliver every weekend, whether it's raining or dry of whatever. You have to perform when Red Bull have a good weekend and then also when they're at a track where they're slower.
"You can only do that if you're performing at the top level and I don't know if what he's doing is being valued enough. I know he is appreciated, but I give him a lot of credit because Mercedes don't have the dominance of three or four years ago, when they won quite easily. Others are closer, but it doesn't seem to affect him. He always gives 100 percent, so you have to congratulate him."
Alonso had a huge scare ahead of the 2021 season as he was involved in a road accident in Switzerland. The 39-year-old required jaw surgery for his injuries.
While Alonso says it doesn’t affect his performance on the circuit, he admits that the incident has still been affecting his day-to-day life, but feels he’s almost back to 100% again.
"It's going well," said Alonso when queried about how his recovery is going.
"It's not something I like to comment on or that has an impact on races, but I do have some pain in my mouth from changes in temperature or pressure. You just change the way you eat or you have to prepare your food in a certain way."
"I also took a hit on my shoulder and my knee," Alonso continued. "I didn't need surgery but I did have to do some rehabilitation.''
"I was just saying to my friends Alberto and Edo [Bendinelli, his physio] that this is the first week that I've not had any pain when I've not been doing anything. Until now it has been hurting but it hasn't stopped me from braking hard or turning left or right, so I don't comment on it because it doesn't affect my driving. It does affect your normal life, though, but I'm almost 100 percent again."