Sports

Alonso puts Hamilton in top five of all time

Friday, October 19, 2018

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AUSTIN, United States (AFP) — Fernando Alonso heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton and omitted Sebastian Vettel yesterday when he was asked to name his five greatest Formula One drivers of all time.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of this weekend's United States Grand Prix, the two-time world champion Spaniard said that Hamilton had proved his talent by winning in cars that were not expected to be victorious.

“It is difficult to compare those different times and different championships, but Lewis matching (Juan-Manuel) Fangio with five championships will be a great achievement,” said Alonso.

“If one (driver) had to do that in our generation, I am happy it is Lewis as he has showed the talent and commitment. When the car is dominating, then he delivers — and when it is not good enough to win a world championship, he still puts in the performance to show his talent. That is difficult to see nowadays.”

Hamilton needs to outscore Vettel, a fellow four-time champion, by eight points in Sunday's race to clinch his fifth title, but he avoided all talk of any glory that may ahead.

Alonso spoke twice in glowing terms of Hamilton's raw talent and speed, the pair having been McLaren team-mates in 2007 when the Briton entered Formula One.

The Spaniard went on to say his top five would include seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, five-time champion Fangio, three-time champion Ayrton Senna, four-time champion Alain Prost and Hamilton.

“This would probably be the top five for me,” he said.

Asked by Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, who was sitting close to him, if he would include himself, Alonso said: “No. Not really.”

Hamilton spoke of both Fangio and Vettel as he responded to questions.

“Fangio is the Godfather of the sport for us,” he said in one answer. “He's one of the greats from the beginning. It's crazy for me to think that l am embarking on a similar number of championships that he had.”

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