Fernando Alonso has admitted that Lewis Hamilton’s motivation to fight with Sergio Perez for second in the championship despite his seven world titles is driving him to keep pushing at the top of the sport. Alonso and Hamilton are the two most senior drivers in F1 now and have nine world titles between them.
Alonso is the more senior statesman at 42 years of age, but Hamilton will turn 39 before the start of next season. But they’ve both continued to show the younger generation how it’s done as they sit third and fourth respectively behind the Red Bull drivers.
Max Verstappen has been out of range for most of the season, but Hamilton and Alonso have both stayed within touching distance of Perez all year. Hamilton is on his longest run without a win in F1 dating back two years now, but Alonso has praised his former team-mate for continuing to battle for pride in the championship.
When asked by GQ whether he thought Hamilton would have quit F1 had he not been in a superior team for as long as he has been, Alonso said: “It’s difficult to say. We have different personalities and motivations. Lewis always did really well to stay focused and competitive in the periods of his life when he didn’t have a competitive package.
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“Those periods weren’t many, but he was always performing to a high level. Now he’s not having the best car, Red Bull is dominating, but he’s still fighting always.
“He’s chasing Perez in P2 and he’s never giving up. It motivates all of us to see how Lewis keeps the motivation after winning so many titles.”
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With Alonso still motivated to compete at the highest level, Hamilton will have another rival to have to worry about for next season as he bids to chase down Verstappen. Hamilton will also have to be wary of Alonso catching him in the standings after the Spaniard closed in with his podium finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Just 28 points separates the two former McLaren drivers heading into next week’s Las Vegas Grand Prix. Hamilton has already stated how much he’s looking forward to the inaugural race in Las Vegas.
“Vegas is going to be epic,” Hamilton said earlier this year. “Watching the movie ‘Casino’ and I always thought how crazy it would be for us to race down the streets there and the fact we’re gonna be underneath those lights at night – it’s gonna be epic.”
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