Lewis Hamilton will be delighted to see Fernando Alonso make an F1 comeback next year – especially because the Spaniard’s older than him. Hamilton and Alonso share a strong relationship despite the animosity which grew between them during their year together at McLaren in 2008.
The Brit, 35, was forced to wave goodbye to Alonso, 38, a couple of years ago when his former team-mate decided to call time on his career in F1.
Alonso will, though, return to the grid in 2021 having agreed to take the seat Daniel Ricciardo is poised to vacate at Renault.
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Hamilton is glad to see the two-time F1 champion returning to the pinnacle of motorsport – and he’s also pleading for a team to sign up another serial title-winner in Sebastian Vettel, 33.
Vettel is facing going into 2021 without a drive to his name following Ferrari’s decision to let him go when this season ends.
Asked if will welcome Alonso back to F1, Hamilton said: “Why would I not? Ultimately, I think the more top drivers we have, the better it is for the sport. I’ve not spoken to him so I don’t know his reasons, but congratulations to him.”
On Vettel, Hamilton added: “If Seb was to stop before his time I think that would be a shame, I think he’s got a lot more to give to the sport and a lot more to achieve.
“It’s all about making sure we have as many top drivers as possible, so we want to keep the world champions. Seb is a world champion, Fernando is a world champion, and I think that’s only good for the sport.”
Should 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen, 40, stay in F1 next year, Alonso will return to the sport as its second-oldest driver.
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The Renault racing legend would take that title from Mercedes’ Hamilton – a fact the current reigning champion is pleased about.
“I would imagine there’s pros and cons [to being experienced],” said Hamilton. “Experience counts for a lot and particularly when you’re working for a team like Renault, who like every team are pushing to develop and move forwards and evolve, experience can help the team move in the right direction. That will definitely be a bonus for them.
“I don’t know what it’s like to be 40 yet so I don’t know about the physical challenges. Michael [Schumacher] came [to Mercedes] and I think was physically great at that age so I have no doubts Fernando can be in great shape and the bonus for me is that I was the second-oldest, and now I’m going to be the third-oldest!”
Hamilton and departing Ferrari star Vettel are set to go racing this Sunday at the Styrian Grand Prix.
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