Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2007

Hamilton: “I blew Alonso away”

2010 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2007Lewis Hamilton turns 25 today and he’s given a detailed interview on one of his sponsor’s websites about his F1 career so far.

The interview was conducted at Rye House kart circuit at Hoddesdon where he often raced during his karting years.

In it he has some interesting things to say about his father Anthony, whose drive and determination helped Hamilton reach F1:

The hardest corner of all is this corner right here. It’s where I learnt to be the latest braker of all and that’s where I learnt to overtake everyone like I do. I use it in Formula 1 now, that’s why I’m able to overtake like I do.

It wasn’t until my dad found out where the latest of brakers were braking. So if the British champion was braking here, my dad would make me brake down here – so late that I often would go off or spin. Spin, start again, spin, start again… he stood here and said I had to brake there and if I didn’t brake there I’d be in trouble.

When I have kids I want to be just like him because he was such an incredible dad. Very, very hard and very correct but he tried always to do what was best for me. He was probably harder on me than any of my friends’ parents were on them. But that’s what made me so strong.

When the family weren’t there and it was just me and my dad, there was never a moment when he was not standing at my side and watching out for me. He was my hero.

He also talked about missing out on the drivers title: in his rookie season – and the satisfaction he took from finishing ahead of team mate Fernando Alonso in the championship:

I definitely didn’t blame myself for the year that I missed out [on the championship]. My first season in Formula 1, alongside a world champion – a double world champion – and I blew him away. I beat him. No-one’s ever come in their first year and been at the front, let alone beat a world champion, beat the mentality and the strength that he would have, and his experience in Formula 1 already up to that point.

So I’m very proud that I had the experience of leading the world championship for most of the year. And it’s sickening, for sure, to think we lost it in the last couple of races. […]

I was leading and I needed a couple of points in the last two races. I barely got one. I think I got one*. The worst two races of the whole year. In one, I went off, in the second one the car stopped and it never stopped on me before.

It was a growing experience and it made me who I am today.

*He scored two in the last race, and needed two more to be champion

The full interview is over 20 minutes long and you can listen to it on the Johnnie Walker website.

142 comments on “Hamilton: “I blew Alonso away””

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. “My first season in Formula 1, alongside a world champion – a double world champion – and I blew him away”

    I don’t know who he’s trying to kid, blew him away? They finished level on points.

    Why did they finish level on points? It’s best looking at when and where Hamilton matched Alonso over the course of the season, and how it relates to Alonso being marginalised within the McLaren team.

    In Australia and Malaysia at the start of the season before the troubles began at McLaren Alonso outdrove Hamilton simple as. But in the following races he made errors such as in Barcelona as his position in the team become more insecure. He then beat Hamilton in Monaco, only for Hamilton to cry foul and Ron Dennis’ reaction his preference toward Hamilton even more obvious. Alonso in this environment didn’t perform his best and again made an error at the start in Hungary but bounced back and drove a stunning race in Germany and was faster in Hungary until the stewards intervened in an intra-team matter. When Alonso finally adjusted to the outright hostility to him from some in the team he destroyed Lewis in Spa and Monza. It was what we’d expected all year long, the double champ battering the rookie.

    When you look at the entire 2007 season admitedly Alonso could not handle the superstar presence of McLaren’s favoured son, but it would have been hard for many drivers to deal with. When Alonso managed to put all the politics and problems with McLaren out of the picture though he beat Lewis comfortably. Alonso was not beaten by Lewis’ driving ability but Hamilton’s ability to use the politics of Ron Dennis’ McLaren team to his advantage and Alonso’s discomfort with Dennis’ favouratism.

    I don’t doubt Hamilton’s ability as a driver he’s clearly one of the best on the grid, but it’s comments like this which makes him so hated by many F1 fans. He didn’t blow away Alonso and claiming he did just makes him sound like an arrogant cock.

    Rant over.

    1. I think you should stop this nonsense regarding McLaren’s preferential treatment.
      Fact is that Alonso is not as naturally gifted as Hamilton or for that matter Raikkonen.

      Your comment or rant as you call it is totally biased & one sided.

      I totally lost all respect for Alonso when he said he deserved the 2008 singapore gp victory. So Lewis’ comments are not as bad as his.

      A rookie even with all the support equaling a “double”world champion on points & victories is blowing away.
      Mind you Lewis had more second places, so naturally classified second.

      1. “Fact is that Alonso is not as naturally gifted as Hamilton or for that matter Raikkonen.”

        I fell off my chair laughing, only to realize you weren’t joking. Such a shame.

        1. Yes I stick by what I’ve said. Alonso’s a master tactician like Schumi & Piquet Sr. But Kimi & Lewis have this ability to to drive wheels of any cars in their first attempts.

          Alonso’s a slow learner & that showed in 2007.

          1. rubbish!!

          2. a slow learner, who – on his first F1 test – tested the minardi 1,5 secs faster then all others during that test

            I am by far not a fan, but I don’t know how you got to think he is a slow learner

            2007 is probably more about other aspects of his character then his ‘learning abilities’

          3. Praveen Titus
            7th January 2010, 19:21

            Wait till the 2010 season unfolds, and you’ll learn if Alonso is a slow learner or not. And you’re completely mistaken if you believe Prost had no ill-feeling towards the McLaren tem and only to Senna.

            Ron Dennis is univerally acknowledged for preferring one driver above the other. I agree that Alonso exaggerated it a little, but there’s no smoke without fire.

          4. It’s ******** when people say that mclaren preferred Lewis Hamilton, the highly praised rookie. Over Fernando alonso, the champion from the year before and two time champion.

            Who had the red top and who had the yellow top to signal to the public which guy is first team pilot? I believe alonso was red signalling the first pilot, getting the preferable strategy. Alonso himself said he was given an equal oppurtunity to win and compete. Knock it off you sad Alonso fans.

      2. Yes of course I’m an Alonso fan, but I didn’t say anything which is an unreasonable analysis of the ’07 season. It wasn’t totally biased and one sided. I was merely pointing out that Hamilton did not outdrive Alonso over the season and when Alonso managed to ignore the politics within the McLaren team he comfortably beat Hamilton.

        Favouratism within the McLaren team is so well documented with Prost, JPM, DC etc. The myth of McLaren driver parity is a nonsense and everone has known it for years.

        1. Prost? What happened to Prost? He was a bllody 3 times WDC at McLaren!! Prost’s bitterness was only with Senna, not McLaren Sir! Hope you know your F1 history. I don’t ever recall Prost whining like Alonso whilst at Mclaren.

          Montoya? I was/am a big supporter of Montoya at McLaren, but his season was over before it began when he “tripped over that bloody tennis ball” hehe. He won 3 races despite missing 2 races & you call it favoritism?!

          1. Terry Fabulous
            7th January 2010, 22:02

            Prost whined all season 1989, as bad as Alono without question.

            Although Prost was entitled to whine, since he had deliverd two titles to McLaren and was in his sixth season.

          2. Wrong, Prost went on TV several times to openly critisize McLaren and, in particular Honda, who he accused of giving him less powerful engines than Senna. He mentionned a 7km/h difference at the end of straights in 1988.

            In 1988, Senna and Prost still got along very well. At least until Portugal.

            Watch the races again, and see for yourself.

          3. Was that the same incident where he shouted and swore at a camera man i.e. “you idiot, you broke my ******* head” lol

    2. True, the words “blew him away” might be a bit much. However, although they both ended the season on the same points, I always felt that during that season it was Alonso who more consistantly looked like the rookie of the pair.

    3. You can hate as much as you want if that floats your boat, but Lewis has a reason to be proud of his achievements. He did blow away Alonso considering Alonso was a 2 time world champion and he was a rookie IN THE SAME CAR and he beat him on points. That’s a fact. When has that ever happened before?

      I listened to the whole interview, and he sounds honest and inspirational to me.

      He talks about a karting father saying to him when he was a boy “Lewis, you’ve just not got it” and how that you cannot really tell how good a young karter will be. He joked that he bets that father regrets saying that now.

      He also talks about the charity work he does. He doesn’t sound at all arrogant in the interview, just matter of fact and telling it how it is. Maybe you should listen to the actual interview before you condemn him. Your theory about the 2007 is so boring and inaccurate too.

      At the end of the interview, he says that he would never say he is better than any other driver and would rather do his talking on the track. Button actually has said he thinks he is better than Lewis at times so I reckon he is truly arrogant. He sounds lovely and modest and human and that why he is also loved by so many people.

      1. I am no worshiper of Lewis, but all these boring stories of Mclaren betrayal & Alonso being compared to Julius Caesar is too melodramatic.

        Fact remains that both had equal equipment & both blew it, Alonso a little more.

        Nobody asked Alonso to crash at Fuji, he would have finished second & collect 8 points & who knows become a triple champ.

        I find it frustrating when people blabber only their side of the story.

        1. “Nobody asked Alonso to crash at Fuji, he would have finished second & collect 8 points & who knows become a triple champ”

          Completely true, Alonso himself has said this was the moment he blew the championship. I don’t doubt Alonso made mistakes that year, I just reject the idea that he was ‘blown away’ or even outdriven by Lewis over the course of the season.

          1. I think people you are not releasing in what context Hamilton utter those words.

          2. @James Bond

            “I think people you are not releasing in what context Hamilton utter those words.”

            Exactly – maybe they should actually listen to the interview before spouting off their hatred.

      2. “he beat him on points. That’s a fact”

        No it was 109 vs 109, he beat him on countback.

        Looking at the past 2 seasons after Alonso left McLaren he’s outdriven Hamilton, especially in the second half of the 2008 season. Alonso scored more points than anyone despite being in the 4th fastest car. So I wouldn’t say the 2007 was an accurate comparison of their ability whilst Alonso was working in an impossible environment in within the Mclaren team.

        1. Last year, Hamilton scored more points than anyone in the second half of the season in probably the 3rd or 4th fastest car on the grid. The toxic environment in McLaren when Alonso was there was of his own making.

          I nearly fell off MY chair when you said Alonso had outdriven Lewis in the past two seasons.

      3. “IN THE SAME CAR” is almost dubious. The biased treatment favoring Hamilton was proven in that season, and was definitely proven with the treatment McLaren gave to Kovalainen.

        Hamilton is an excellent driver, but to be a superb one has to improve his autocontrol, and has to learn to not depend on Ron help.

        1. “definitely proven with the treatment McLaren gave to Kovalainen.”

          If you can talk about Kovi in 08-09 at Mclaren, I can talk about Fisi in 05-06 at Renault ;)

        2. Genuine question, but when was it proved that McLaren favoured Hamilton over Alonso in 2007 as I thought it was always just people’s opinion, and on the other side of the debate I have read some claim that Alonso actually said that they both received equal equipment. Does anyone have links to quality news sites, in other words nothing like The Sun, which has articles on this?

          1. I think you must be referring to the Monza race, which of course Alonso comfortably won, courtesy of McLaren engineers building a special braking system ,especially for that race,especially for Alonso.

            I remember the post race interview where he profusely thanked the team & the engineers.

            Yet people talk of bias?!

          2. PJA, it is an Alonso fan (and general Hamilton hater) bunch of total guff.

            No-one expected Lewis to be so good – not Ron, not Alonso, not the British media or any other media for that matter. I reckon only Lewis and his dad thought they would give Alonso a run for his money. But I bet by the end of the 2007, the McLaren bosses wanted shot of Alonso after his unsporting and general vile behaviour in the team, so despite getting equal equipment and opportunities (which Alonso actually admitted he got after the end of the season), unsurprisingly I wouldn’t doubt Ron Dennis wanted Lewis to win the championship over Alonso.

        3. ‘…was definitely proven with the treatment McLaren gave to Kovalainen’.

          The only time Lewis had the updates and they weren’t available to Heiki was Germany. The team rushed out a hugely modified car after, for them, the disastrous British GP, and had only one set of parts. Naturally, they went to Lewis. After this, Heiki was given the option of whether he wanted the updates; often he said he did not. That was his choice. The situation at Renault, in contrast, is completely different. Where Piquet minimus was, quite understandably I suppose, almost always given inferior machinery – and not through choice.

          1. I guess this Alonso v Hamilton debate will never ever go away huh?…its going to be like the England v Germany match of 66, “Did it cross the line?” will always remain a great debate down at the locals.

            These things happened 3 years ago now, let by gones be by gones and lets just get on with it. If Lewis believes he blew Alonso away in 07, let him believe so, everyone has an opinion, and we’d have to respect that.

            For me, none of this matters because, this year, Alonso will wipe the floor with Lewis and set the record straight once and for all that he is the best driver (tied with Vettel) on the grid.

            Also, I would like to see how Lewis and Jens will get on, who will the media favour? Might be a bit of a conundrum for press because both are Brits, they can’t just blatantly outcast the foreigner as they customarily do in all annals of media in Britain.

            FORZA FERNANDO!!!

          2. @ Jay Menon

            The British media will definitely favour Button as to many in the right wing media (which is in the majority in Britain) Button is “more British than Hamilton” due to his colour. Really unfortunate, but true.

          3. Funny because when Kovalainen was given the same equipment, he STILL couldnt go faster. When they only have enough parts for one car, of course they are going to go to the better of the two drivers, which I doubt anyone here can say Kovi was the better of the pair. Also – I recall seeing that Kovi tested new parts and then went back to the old ones because the car felt better to him on more than one occasion last year.

            The fact that last year Hamilton got the new parts was a result of 1) the rapidity with which they had to produce them because of the development process and how far behind the car was and 2) Hamilton is/was clearly the better of the two drivers and got better results for the team more consistently. When you are in the position McLaren was in last year, you get the better driver to the front, not bring up your second driver so both guys are at the tail end of the points. Then you get the second guy parts at the next race. Two cars in 7th and 8th = 3 points. Getting Hamilton at the mid to front, while Kovi made due, net them 4-10.

        4. @vikenbauer

          ron wasnt a part of the mclaren racing side for the 09′ season, yet lewis still managed two wins after dealing with a dog for half the season.

          1. @ S Hughes

            I dont know about that, I agree that Hamilton is on the wrong side of the fence when it comes to colour, but still..isnt he the golden boy that can do no wrong?

          2. @ Jay Menon

            “isnt he the golden boy that can do no wrong?”

            Not in the British media he’s not definitely. Button is!

    4. Your talking complete nonsense. Hamilton was a better driver pure and simple and Alonso couldnt handle it, even a child could see that.

      Alonso bottled it, and looked for an excuse to claim foul play and get out.

      He was embarrassed which is normal in those circumstances, wouldnt you be?

    5. 100%correct Ads 21

      Well said, IF Alonso had the support from the team like any other wdc would have had then LH wouldn’t have been smelling like roses.

      If you look at the results Alonso blew LH away when..but LH was a more consistent finisher..or was luckier due to no penalties and being able to race after an off or mechanical problem.

      Simple fact is LH should have just been wing man and Maca would have won the WDC with Alonso and also the WCC because Alonso wouldn’t have felt the need to supply the email that brought the team undone.
      Ron Dennis strategy = fail

  2. What he says about his dad is lovely. No wonder he will never (I presume) replace him as his manager – it is due to his dad and his own innate skill that got him where he is today.

    I’m looking forward to him having kids (angel babies) – I think he will be a fabulous dad too.

    1. And what do you have to say about him being a
      “arrogant cock” as Ads21 calls it.

      1. See above :)

        1. he says the exact same thing about his dad in his book, “my story”. he knows that his dad didnt have the oportunitys that he had.

          for all those people who think that mclaren have paid for everthing in his entire career then you are wrong. when he was in f3 mclaren dumped him, because his results slumped. Lewis had to fund his own trip to bahrain with his car, then qualified 22nd and won the race. then McLaren decided to take him back.

          …Anyway if i turned up in f1 and in my FIRST year beat a double world champion, id probably say i blew him away. what he achieved is something never seen before so stop being so clinical of him. he is proud of what he has achieved and if i had done the same i would be as proud of myself as he is.

          Stop giving him such a hard time.

          1. Well said.

  3. He did beat Alonso by a touch on the points count, but do you believe that he was not given preferential treatment in anyway within the team? In addition to beating Alonso he also beat himself even more comprehensively in the last 2 races, talk about an own goal.

    1. Yes. He messed up badly or was asked to do so.

      1. …Or was made to mess-up by the team from an intentional electronic problem. Can anyone remember the last time any driver, for any team, suffered a similar problem? I can’t. It’s even more odd…or suspicious…when you consider McLaren’s reliability in that season.

        1. have you ever seen a car driving along, then fall out of gear for 40s, and then start going again? i havnt

  4. Interesting, thanks Keith.

    His braking truly is phenomenal, I’d love to compare telemetry data between him and the rest of the grid with respect to brake points on any given circuit. Comparing with Hakkinen and Raikkonen in particular who tend to brake early and get on the gas much earlier than the rest; the opposite to Lewis’ approach.

  5. Ron Dennis:

    “We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.”

    After China GP 2007.

    1. Wow, 2 races from the end of the season when Lewis was in the lead and on course to win. And after Alonso had tried to bribe the team into making him no. 1 and was spreading his poison throughout the team.

      Hmmm, no wonder!

      1. And did he win? xD

  6. Lewis is certainly getting a lot of Birthday love on his Facebook page today.

    1. lol I forgot to wish him happy brithday how rude of me. Happy Birthday Lewis. I’m sure he’s an avid reader of F1 fanatic like the rest of us.

      1. I’m sure he’s an avid reader of F1 fanatic like the rest of us

        Is he really? Lets not sadden him by talking rubbish, at least today.

        Happy Birthday Lewis. Hope you prove all your critics wrong. But sorry, I am not supporting you :D

  7. “Blew him away?” Regardless of the politics of the situation, finishing level on points with your teammate doesn’t constitute “blowing them away.”

    1. Yeah. Totally agreed Andy. Thats rather exaggeratory, but then again F1 drivers arent known for their modesty…

    2. Do you know the definition of Blown away?

      Look it up.. Lewis is perfectly correct.


  9. Alonso is a fantastic driver, but honestly the performance of Hamilton when they were paired together, sent him into panic mode. No one expected it to happen that way.

    1. Panic mode might be exaggerating it a bit but your right that Alonso didn’t cope well. I don’t think such a reaction could have have happened without the atmosphere within the team towards Hamilton, Alonso clearly never felt at home even in Australia and Malaysia when he was beating Lewis.

      1. highfieldoval
        9th January 2010, 0:18

        Didn’t feel ‘at home?’

        He had the opportunity to go on the team bonding week to Finland but turned it down.

        Hamilton and de la Rosa were instructed to make Alonso feel at home.

        Alonso was the author of his own misfortune, he chose the Greta Garbo shtick.

  10. I’m a big fan of Hamilton, but he didn’t ‘blow Alonso away at all!’

    I’m actually quite surprised he’s said this.

    1. Please listen to the whole interview – you will be surprised at how modest and genuine Lewis sounds. You really cannot judge the interview until you have heard the entire thing, but then people are always quick to judge without having the full facts.

      1. Am actually a fan of his driving and i must say from hearing that whole thing he didn’t seem modest or genuine. Naomi Campel like his sister? Oh! please. Doesn’t he understand that those famous guys around him aren’t really his best friends? Maybe is because it was for Johnnie Walker where they are suppose to speak big or something.
        Well hopefully he will grow out of it. Button was an ass at first but his fine now.

        1. It’s great that you know what Lewis’ relationship with Naomi Campbell really is more than him. Thanks for the inside information.

          He was merely saying his job has given him the opportunity to meet and be friends with famous people he has previously admired.

          Hey, maybe Nicole Scherzinger, you know her off the Pussycat Dolls, the biggest girl group in America, isn’t really is girlfriend. Do tell us as you obviously know.

          1. Why? Would you be surprised if i say she’s not? If for some reason he becomes poor and loses his fame she’s gonna dump him before you can say “Scherzinger”.

    2. Look up the definition of Blown away:

      shocked, amazed, astonished, astounded, blown away, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, jolted, rendered speechless, startled, stunned, stupefied

      overwhelmed; visibly moved, affected, at a loss for words, beaten, blown-away, bowled-over, buried, conquered, defeated, overthrown, run-over, speechless, swamped, swept off one’s feet, taken, unable to continue

      Alonso WAS BLOWN AWAY!

  11. Who would’ve thought this would turn into a Hamilton/Alonso fan boy argument? -rolls eyes-

    1. I, like you saw it coming a mile off.

  12. HounslowBusGarage
    7th January 2010, 20:23

    Lots of people risk their lives to achieve whatever it is they need to achieve. And to do so, they need to believe in themselves, their method, their ability and their ‘right’ to be Number One.
    Doesn’t matter what the sport is – tennis “You cannot be serious!” – boxing “I am the greatest!” or professional croquet “After you, Vicar”.
    None of us should be surprised by the certainty of Hamilton that he “blew Alonso away” or that Schumacher “did not do that deliberately”.
    It’s part of what is necessary for them to believe they are the best. Whether we (the fans) take it seriously or not is another matter.

    1. Don’t forget Alonso and his 6 tenths. :)

      1. Alonso may well bring 6 tenths to a team; but if 2009 has shown us anything, it’s that Lewis brings 2.6 seconds to a team ;)

        1. Ha Alonso and his 6 spanish tenths!

  13. All the pro Alonso and pro Hamilton will never stop :)
    All I can say is when I see f1 in real life I think you can see who has the best car control and who are the outstanding drivers.
    Imo Hamilton is nr1 on that list closely followed by Alonso!

    I don’t think we can doubt any of those 2 driver’s abbility. They both are very gifted and great drivers!
    What Hamilton has done so far since joining f1 is stunning. In fact in the last 3 seasons he has the most points of all drivers and that won’t change anytime soon!

  14. Pedel to the Vettel
    7th January 2010, 20:54

    And guess what Lewis, Jenson and Vettel blew you away when they had a better car then you did, and in their first season having the best car…… check and mate Lewis. Your a good driver but modern F1 is about 85% of the car now, it just prooves that any rookie can win a title with the best car and team against more experienced drivers with a worse car.

    1. But Lewis was talking about beating a guy in the same car.

    2. ‘…it just prooves that any rookie can win a title with the best car and team against more experienced drivers with a worse car’.

      Huh? Apart from the very first F1 season, which, therefore, doesn’t really count, no rookie has ever won the title. Lewis came closest, though. You’re right that the car is hugely important; but you still have to beat your teammate. And Lewis was paired with the reigning double world champion Alonso. This was a much, much sterner challenge than faced by any other of the ‘great drivers’ in living memory.

      E.g., Alonso had the mightly challenge of Alex Young; and then the incomparable Tarso Marques. Senna had to battle tooth-and-nail with F1 legend Johnny Cecotto. As for Schumi, he faced Andrea de Cesaris. ETC. So, yes, the car is very important. But you have to beat your teammate. Which is not always easy…Though, sometimes it is.

    3. “it just prooves that any rookie can win a title with the best car and team against more experienced drivers with a worse car”

      Button’s not a rookie, and far from it.

      1. Beautifully said alistair! (some bad spelling i think)

      2. Pedel to the Vettel
        8th January 2010, 17:57

        For the first time he has the best car on the grid and wins the world title, So in some ways you can call Jenson a “rookie” being in that place for the first time.

        1. Yes and next year will be the first time Schumacher will drive for Mercedes in F1 so he will be a rookie as well I suppose.

  15. ‘Alonso clearly never felt at home even in Australia and Malaysia when he was beating Lewis’ (Ads21)

    Well, there was no particular reason for Alonso to feel at home in Australia: he’s Spanish, after all. On a more serious note, there were no problems, whatsoever, between Alonso and Ron, until Alonso tried to blackmail his own team into giving him No: 1 status. It’s sad that Alonso had to stoop this low, in what was a desperate attempt to establish superiority over a rookie; a rookie who wouldn’t be dominated on the track, even by the reigning double-world champion. So, Alonso was the architect of his own downfall at McLaren for two simple reasons. First, he wasn’t good enough to establish superiority over his rookie teammate (quite the contrary, in fact). Second, Alonso, as a consequence, turned on his own team.

    You cite Australia and Malaysia as evidence of Alonso beating Lewis! What needs to be pointed-out, I think, is that these were Lewis’s first two races in F1. He didn’t know either track, with Melbourne, so the drivers say, being particularly difficult to learn; and Malaysia being particularly demanding, physically and mentally. Lewis hadn’t been in any car in any race for this amount of time, nor raced with such G-Force, required such levels of concentration and fitness to maintained, etc. Never mind; let’s compare his performance to his double-world champion teammate in just these two races – his first two races.


    Lewis qualifies 4th: two places and 0.2 sec behind Alonso; but Lewis has a lap’s worth more fuel than Alonso. Lewis, initially, makes a bad start and falls behind Kubica on the approach to turn 1. Then, Lewis makes a stunning double-pass around the outside of both Kubica and Alonso, his double-world champion teammate, into turn 1. The race is dominated by Kimi, who leads 52 of the 58 laps. But Lewis leads twice as many laps as Alonso: 4 compared to 2. Alonso finishes the race second; Lewis is third. Lewis is just 11.3 sec behind Alonso after 58 laps of his first ever race. Alonso sets a faster race lap than Lewis – by all of 0.03 sec.


    In qualifying, Lewis is again 4th; Alonso, again 2nd. Disappointingly, for Lewis, he’s 0.7 sec behind teammate Alonso. But Lewis has 2 laps more fuel than Alonso. Moreover, Lewis is frank and blames his inexperience: he backed off too much, when he got some spots of rain on his visor. Lewis vows to make amends in the race…. Massa makes a bad start: Alonso takes the lead. Then, Lewis makes a superlative start: somehow managing, in the first corner complex, to overtake not just Kimi’s Ferrari, but also Massa’s sister Ferrari as well! Alonso wins the race from Lewis by the respectable (for Lewis) margin of 17 seconds after 56 laps of racing. Alonso leads 52 of those laps; Lewis, just 2. But Lewis sets a faster lap than Alonso (in so doing Lewis sets the fastest race lap in just his second race) by a tenth of a second.

    So, I would agree with you that, in Lewis’s first ever two races, Alonso did better, if we confine ourselves just on paper, than did Lewis. But, even on paper, the overall advantage Alonso had is, as we can see above, small. Given that the gap is small, given that Alonso was the reigning double-world champion, and given that these were Lewis’s first two races in F1, this shows you just how good Lewis was – straightway. Moreover, I would argue that Lewis was more impressive than Alonso in these first two races, because of his inexperience, and because of his great and nigh unprecedented overtaking.

    Considering the season, as a whole, which is what we should do, Lewis beat Alonso by finishing ahead of him in the WDC – when Lewis was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning double world champion. (This needs to be reinforced, because, never in F1 history, has a rookie beat the reigning double world champion as Lewis did.) Incidentally, if Lewis hadn’t had those two bad races at the end of 07, where McLaren kept their rookie out on tyres worn down to the canvas at China and had that…very strange electronic problem at Brazil (which I view suspiciously in light of ‘Alonsogate’), Lewis would have won the title in his first year in F1 and, thus, beaten Alonso by a greater margin. It’s fair to say this, since neither of these problems were Lewis’s fault; and, up till then, his season had been nigh flawless.

    The bottom-line is this First, Lewis not only beat Alonso over the course of a season when Lewis was a rookie and Alonso was the reigning double world champion, but Lewis also showed that he was faster than Alonso, better in the wet, and better at overtaking in this his rookie year. Second, all drivers improve, considerably, from their rookie year: imagine how much better Lewis is now than he was in 07; imagine how much better he will be when he reaches his peak in several seasons’ time…

    1. Superb post! I’ll nominate it for the post of the day :)

    2. I echo James Bond – superlative post.

      How anyone cannot see what Alistair is saying is totally beyond me!!!!!

    3. I echo S Hughes – superlative post.

      Hate Lewis Hamilton all you want, there is absolutely no denying that he’s an incredible talent.

    4. Nice one, summed up to pefection.

  16. I don’t think he blew him away. Both were disadvantaged in 2007, Hamilton was just a rookie with little experience and Alonso had the feeling of isolation at McLaren which definitely hindered his performance that season. In the end they ended up exactly even on points, they WERE even that year.

    In fact all the title contenders that year had difficulties, Raikkonen had poor reliability and Massa had less reliability issues in races but had some in qualifying. That season was equal, no one blew anyone away.

    Next year we will see a better fight with Alonso free from that emotional hurt and Hamilton with more experience.

    1. what the hel ‘isolated’ ‘ emotional hurt ‘ are you serious?

  17. I don’t recall any rookie in F1 performing as well as Hamilton did against a two-time world champion (Surely, at the time, Briatore had manipulated the Renault team “in order” to favor Alonso, but the resume of the Spaniard was there and built to impress).

    Hamilton blew Alonso away, and not only Alonso: he blew everybody away.

    1. ‘I don’t recall any rookie in F1 performing as well as Hamilton did against a two-time world champion.’

      Indeed, because it’s never happened before. Here’s a good quote from Grandprix.com after the 07 Malaysian Grand Prix (Lewis’s second race)

      ‘When all is said and done it was another truly astonishing performance for an F1 newcomer. Lewis set the fastest lap of the race. He has been on the podium in both races thus far. He has led both races.
      We knew he was good but it is doubtful that anyone dared to imagine that he would be this good’.

    2. I’m not totally sure about this one but Piquet and Lauda in 78/79?

      Lauda was a double world champ at the time, and Piquet was a rookie. I’m not certain on that one though !

      1. Piquet scored nothing, although Lauda didnt do much himself because the engine was crap.
        That’s a shame: had Lauda been that slow a few years before, he could have stopped and helped Roger Williamson.

  18. ‘Alonso had the feeling of isolation at McLaren.’

    First, bo-hoo! Alonso brought this upon himself when he threatened to blackmail his own team AFTER he failed to beat his rookie teammate on the track! Second, a world champion, a double-world champion, with years of experience in F1, should have the mental fortitude to cope with this situation. Alonso didn’t. This is the same Alonso who left Renault at the end of 06 complaining that the team didn’t want him to win (to take the no: 1 to McLaren) and that Fisi wasn’t helping him enough!

    Contrast this mental strength (or lack thereof) to the mental strength of Hamilton, say, in 08. In this year, Lewis was fighting both Ferraris, singlehandedly, with no help from his teammate, who was too slow, with all the other drivers rooting for Massa, with the FIA dishing out more penalties to Lewis than to any other driver in a single season in F1 history (fact), including taking wins off of Lewis, with Alonso publically declaring that he will help Massa, with Lewis’s McLaren car that wasn’t as good as the Ferrari, as evidenced by Massa’s even being in contention for the title, with all the pressure of the final races, especially after the turmoil of 07 – and Lewis holds it all together, despite the unwelcome intervention of rain, and wins!

    1. “Lewis’s McLaren car that wasn’t as good as the Ferrari, as evidenced by Massa’s even being in contention for the title”

      Well, Massa was in title contention because he had had a good season and out-performed his team mate, but i’ll say that the ’08 Mclaren was slightly slower than the Ferrari.

    2. Well firstly, blackmailing the team was wrong, but you have to look at the build up of why he exploded like that. He felt like the outsider of the team, and even the most mentally strongest person would get affected by that. I’m not trying to excuse his behaviour, but you cannot deny it took away from his performance that season.

      Secondly, Hamilton may have had the most penalties in a season, but excluding Spa (Even though I feel it was justified to an extent) he deserved them all. His teammate may not have taken points of the Ferrari’s but the Ferrari’s took points off each other until Raikkonen became an outside shot for the title. Plus it is debatable whether the McLaren was worse than the Ferrari. It may have been slightly slower, but Lewis had 100% reliability, whereas Massa had at least two mechanical failures.

      And it is unfair to underrate Massa, he is a top driver now unlike a few years ago. The Ferrari was clearly not that much faster than the McLaren otherwise they would have dominated the championship even if you feel Massa and Raikkonen are average drivers.

      1. Alonso feeling isolation at McLaren. Alonso was invited to all three team bonding weekends in finland, Lewis went to all three, fernando didnt turn up to any.

        monaco gp, alonso spent most of his time i his room, only coming out when he was required on track.

        if you have tat attitude then dont be suprised if you feel a little isolated.

    3. Hear hear – I LIKE you Alistair. Brilliant!

  19. Very interesting all this talk — again — about Lewis and Fernando because our double-world Champion have confessed to Domenicalli that he was not perfect in his relationship with Lewis.

    I think Ferrari is very cautious with Alonso in the team and how the relationship with Massa will develop.

    In December Montezemolo said:

    “When we talked about drivers after 2010 and Domenicali said Alonso, I said I 100% agree. Alonso is young, a good driver, good for the team dialogue and in the right career moment to want to win again.

    “I’m sure we can control Fernando alongside Felipe. I must have spoken to Domenicali about it 1000 times. I told Fernando that if he came to Ferrari he was driving for a team and a group, not for himself. I told him that if he wanted to do his own team, like John Surtees, then fantastic, but at Ferrari we will put you in a position to win, we know that you can win championships, but you are a partner.

    “Secondly, for years you haven’t seen any polemics at Ferrari, and thirdly, he’s an intelligent, focused guy who admits that, like most people, he has made mistakes in the past.”

  20. 2007 Facts:
    Alonso beats Hamilton in 10 races
    Hamilton beats Alonso in 7 races (hungary’s injustice included)

    Ron’s words in China are the key of 2007

    1. I’m not a Hamilton fan and never have been. Nor for that matter do I have a great deal of time for Alonso, but surely as the rookie, Hamilton’s performance over the course of the season was more impressive?

      In many ways, Hamilton reminds me of Schumaker in the early days of his career: he’s fast, agressive and ruthless. Even as a Brit, I’m slightly worried at the prospect of him cleaning up for the next few years a la Schuey, with controversy over his driving etiquette never far away…

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.