Lewis Hamilton says Fernando Alonso was his toughest opponent

© Jiri Krenek for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

As he approaches his 300th grand prix Lewis Hamilton reveals he considers Fernando Alonso to be his toughest opponent, “out of pure pace and ability”.

At the French Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton will participate in his 300th Formula 1 race. At the Thursday press conference the Briton was asked how it feels to join Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button in the ‘Club 300’.

“I didn’t even know that,” Lewis said, and continued: “It doesn’t make any difference, I feel great.”

He was then asked if he could name the toughest opponent he faced in Formula 1.

“It is difficult to say because every time you are with someone you are in a different place in your life,” Lewis said.

“I remember the task of being alongside Fernando when I was 22. I was so young mentally and, of course, okay in terms of skill, but it is a lot of pressure to go up against a great like him.

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“So, out of pure pace and ability, I would say it’s Fernando. We had some good battles.

“I wish we could have more and, hopefully, he is going to continue to race so we will have more in the future.”

Asked then if he has a standout memory from his 299 races, Lewis said:

“It’s difficult to say. Your first grand prix is always going to be one, and your first win, or your home grand prix, maybe those are the stand-out ones – 2008, 2007.

“The whole realisation of reaching your dream is a very surreal experience. There is only one first. So just getting to the first grand prix in 2007, the number of sleepless nights as a family all of us had, not knowing whether or not we were going to reach our dream but never giving up and being there…

“So that has to be the real highlight,” Hamilton concluded.

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