In an in-depth interview with BBC, Fernando Alonso was asked to comment on Lewis Hamilton’s struggles in the first five races of the 2022 season.
“This is the nature of the sport,” the Spaniard said.
“Sometimes you have a better car, sometimes you have not such a good car and you still need to fight and make some progress.
“This year we see that the driver is very important in F1 but not crucial. Lewis is driving as good as he has been the last eight years.
“He was dominating the sport and breaking all the records and 100-and-something pole positions. And now he is doing a mega lap – as he said in Australia or somewhere like that – and he is one second behind. So, yeah – welcome.
“This is F1. It is not going to be a fair sport in terms of numbers. This is a team sport more than anything and we tend to forget this, especially when we have success.
“We are so happy for what we are achieving that even if we try to share with the team, all the headlines are for the driver.
“It happened to me when I won the two championships [in 2005 and 2006 with Renault]. I was beating Michael Schumacher.
If you like SilverArrows.Net, consider supporting us by buying us a coffee!
“This was a big topic, but my car was more reliable at that time and had very good performance and you cannot praise enough that package because the headlines will still be the driver.
“And with Lewis it’s the same. To have more than 100 pole positions in F1 is something unthinkable. You need to have the best car and package for many, many years.
“We were doing magic laps sometimes and we were P15, and how do you explain that to people? It will be impossible.
“He deserves everything he’s achieved in the past but this year is a good reminder that in all those records and numbers there is a big part on what you have in your hands as a package in the car.”
Alonso was then asked if he was surprised by George Russell’s performances at Mercedes so far.
“Yes and no,” je answered.
“George has been very fast in the last few years and I think everyone was expecting him to be a tough competitor for Lewis. But I still believe Lewis will eventually finish the championship in front.
“This is just a five-race championship, but eventually when things are more tricky or [there are] difficult situations, Lewis will still have more experience and maybe more talent,” the Spanish driver concluded.