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. maestrointhesky
    7th January 2010, 23:46

    I haven’t heard or read the interview but as a fan of F1 I have observed a few things over the years.

    The problem with Alonso is that he’s not happy unless the team is biased towards him, much like Michael Schumacher. He did brilliantly on his first acquaintance at Renault. He expected his move to Mclaren to command the same ‘team leaders’ authority, especially when bringing in such kudos and sponsorship against a rookie. There’s no doubt that, had Mclaren established this hierarchy, Alonso would have been triple world champion at a stroll, but I’m so glad that didn’t happen as you would kill the spirit of the budding new talent and we would have none of the entertainment that this sport has brought us over the last couple of years. Alonso will have been surprised to have seen Hamilton taking points off him on merit and felt threatened that he couldn’t influence the team to back him as 2 times world champion. I’m sure this will have been interpreted as bias towards Hamilton when non existed. The fact is that Mclaren did everything that could to give both drivers every possible opportunity to win and this is illustrated by Alonso fielding his car shod with Hitco brakes (instead of McLaren’s usual Carbone Industries discs) he had previously got used to at Renault. Alonso’s hierarchy will have been handed to him on a plate by Briatore when he returned to Renault and we all saw what that eventually led to at Singapore, regardless of whether Alonso was ‘aware of it’ or not. It’ll be interesting to see how both Schumacher and Alonso position themselves in their new teams. We know that all 3 drivers mentioned are talented but evidence shows us, one will fear no team mate!

  2. I have been hearing some news (Eddie Irvine?)that Lewis will basically walk away from his new team mate once the flag drops.

    From what I have seen over the past year, Button is much smoother and seems to have the ability to conserve his car … Lewis, well, not so good in that respect.

    Does anyone think that Lewis can make a set of tires last a whole race?

    My money is on Button, not for “most poles” or most “fastest laps”, but for the Championship.

    1. yes Eddie Irvine has said that he is walking into a lion’s den and he will get murdered. This season could be a cracker…

    2. He’s not a robot with a fixed skill-set, he can change his driving style to make his tyres last longer if he needs to. Same applies to all of the other drivers – change the incentives and they’ll change their style if they have to, some more successfully than others perhaps, but they all will.

    3. Oh not this old chestnut AGAIN.

      Hamilton – one stopper in Turkey 2009
      Hamilton – one stopper (on first lap) in Brazil 2009 – went from 17th to 3rd.

      I think he is intelligent and adaptable, don’t you?

    4. ‘From what I have seen over the past year, Button is much smoother and seems to have the ability to conserve his car … Lewis, well, not so good in that respect.’ (John Armstrong)

      We’ve seen it throughout Jenson’s career, most recently in the second half of last year, that Jenson is ultra smooth in his driving style: he likes to make minimal and relaxed steering and throttle movements. So, for Jenson’s style to work, he needs the car to be perfectly underneath him. When it’s not, he really struggles: remember the second half of 09. Also, when the track temperature is cold, Jenson struggles to generate heat into his tyres: remember him having to weave on the straights at the Nurburgring, to generate heat into his tyres, when Rubens didn’t need to in the sister Brawn; remember how he struggled at Silverstone. So Jenson may well find that a McLaren, full-to-the-brink of fuel, on cold tyres, with its handling characteristics changing throughout the race, may not suit his style.

      Whereas, Lewis likes to slide his car into the corners, having the rear-end step out and then control the slide; thus, maximizing the momentum that he can carry into the corners. So Lewis, compared to Jenson, should prefer and be better able to adapt to a McLaren on full-fuel. And, as for his adaptability, Lewis mastered KERS when many other drivers struggled with the weight-distribution and consequent braking characteristics, and advised the dropping of the system altogether – despite it giving them a power advantage. (Fisi was completely lost!) As for the tyres, Lewis has shown in the past that he can control the pace to look after the tyres and the car: remember Hungary, last year, when he was basically controlling the pace after just a few laps. And, as other posters have commented, Lewis has successfully implemented a number of one-stop strategies. Moreover, it has been announced that the tyres will be made more durable for next year. What’s more, remember that a driver can still pit for tyres whenever he likes. In the absence of refueling, the stops will be much shorter: a fresh set of rubber might more than negate the (much reduced) time loss in the pits.

      And let’s not forget that qualifying will finally return to low-fuel. Lewis has always been very strong on a single-lap; and in qualifying. (He’s been on pole in a third of his races; and, in 07, scored three times as many poles as Alonso!) Jenson might find, therefore, that he starts each race with a significant and immediate disadvantage to Lewis – a disadvantage that any driver would find extremely difficult to overcome. But the ‘proof is in the pudding’. Roll on F1 2010!

      One final note:
      Many people, especially pundits in the British media, are hailing the Lewis v Jenson battle as something that’s great for British motor-sport. It’s not: one of these drivers (most probably Jenson) must lose. And this loss might very well damage their reputation, and past achievements, forever. How, exactly, is this good for British motor-sport? If the good of British motor-sport were our chief concern, these drivers should be kept apart, preferably both in potentially championship winning cars…So fans of British motor-sport perhaps ought to have wanted Jenson to have stayed, in fact, at Brawn.

  3. I like Hamilton, and he’s a great driver but people like Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner (MotoGP) don’t talk about ‘blowing people away’. They have a little more class then that.
    I haven’t seen the whole interview, so will assume it was taken out of context a little.

    1. everyone in f1 thinks they are the best. thats what makes it so competitive.

      i read a interview with Sebastian Vettel at the begining of 2009

      SV: you have to have a big ego to be in F1. you have to think you are the best otherwise you will get no where. everyone thinks they are the best. even if they dont say it

      Sebatian, Do you think you are the best?

      SV: Yes.

  4. I’m suspicious of this “interview.” Either Hamilton has lost touch with reality or someone else wrote it.

    Obviously Hamilton didn’t blow away Alonso – they finished even on points. Drivers remember things like this, so I can’t imagine Hamilton saying something untrue like this. I wonder if Hamilton’s managment allowed some PR guy to write an interview for a sponsor.

    1. As I wrote in the article, you can listen to it here: http://www.johnniewalker.com/global/lewishamilton/

      1. Huh. Well, thanks. I guess he lost touch with reality then.

  5. Sure, Hamilton ‘blew us all away’ with how good he was. But when comparing his results to Alonso’s in 2007, I don’t think you can categorically state that he blew Alonso into the weeds, when the finished equal on points.

    I have always thought that Alonso’s season was derailed in Canada when Alonso got that stupid drive through penalty for having to re-fuel when the pitlane was ‘closed’. Lewis was already making noises about driver equality (see Monaco) and once he was in front in points from Canada, can it be any coincidence that he won the very next race? I am sure that McLaren openly backed Hamilton from that point on.

    And while I don’t beleive that Alonso handled the situation as well as he could have at McLaren, I still beleive he was justified in stating that he did not have support within the team.

  6. “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’),”

    I second that. I am absolutely sure that the FIA only kept the McLaren drivers in the championship on condition that neihter was allowed to win it.
    The reversal happened in Brazil 2008 despite Glock saying mid-season that if Lewis comes anywhere near to him and yet he clearly opened the door widely on instructions from those behind the scene OR ELSE!

  7. After reading this article i now know that he is a well trained guy rather than a well educated one. His father has trained him like a dog gets trained. Being harsh on him and forcing him on several occasions says it all. Hamilton is an animal and boy oh boy a well trained one, that is all i can learn from here. hah..

  8. I couldn’t listen to more than two minutes of that.

  9. Schumi_the_greatest
    8th January 2010, 9:29

    i stopped commenting on the whole hamilton v alonso thing a while back..we are lucky to have 2 great drivers at the top of the sport who hopefully will go head to head for the tittle next year.

    my opinion on the whole thing is quite simple.

    At the end of 2005 mclaren signed alonso on a 3 year contract starting from 2007. he was brought in because it was clear to see that he was the driver to take over from shcumacher at the top of the sport. mclaren brought him in because they wanted to win the world championship. alonso was on a good salary..now mcalren wouldnt give outright number 1 status to alonso because thats always been their policy..but no one expected lewis to be so good straight away…i think they thought if they had a competitive car he would win a race or 2 but he blew everyone away and alonso felt under pressure from the word go and like many other great drivers e.g. schumacher, senna, when hes put under pressure hes prone to cracking under it.

    lewis was on less than £1 million for his 1st year in f1…yet they were paying alonso something near £10 million..so why on earth would mclaren give hamilton better equipment etc? it doesnt make sense!

    naturally people do lean towards 1 person..its human nature…im sure ron dennis would have been delighted if alonso won the world championship…but alonso blew it when he thre his toys out of the pram.

    I dont think anyone can honestly say hamilton was expected by mclaren to be that good from his 1st race..im sure the thinking behind paring hamilton and alonso was it would be good for lewis to learn from the supposedly best driver in the sport while he learnt his trade and then by the 2nd 3rd season he could really challenge fernando.

    hamilton is arrogant…all sportsmen at the top level are…you have to have that confidence especially in f1 where once out on the track it really is 1 man against the other.

    hamilton is a supreme talent and ina few years time he will dominate the sport.

    rant over

    1. [quote]hamilton is arrogant…all sportsmen at the top level are[/quote]
      Jim Clark was not arrogant. I think modern day F1 drivers have to be.
      Mind you were Damon Hill \ Häkkinen arrogant?

      I get what you mean though. It’s the win at all cost attitude. I think the improved safety standards in F1 have brought this attitude on and it’s not right.

  10. His dad strikes me as one of those people who arn’t good enough to do something so they push there children to do it.

    1. Just like my mum’s husband :( Wants me to get into Caltech!!

  11. The blew away coment is a media spin on it, i bet any money Lewis did not utter those words. The fact remains that Lewis ( A rookie ) was faster than Alonso in testing prior to the season starting and then was able to beat him with no F1 experience. For Hamilton haters you still have to agree that Lewis is a one off. I cant think of another driver that would have been able to do the same to Alonso.If you really think Mclaren would sign Alonso to then give special treatment to Lewis a rookie, i dont think so. This year we will see when hopefully they both have good cars. My guess is that Lewis will beat Alonso in every season for the rest of his career if give comparative equipment.

  12. Ok so ive now listened to the interview and he did say Blew him away, hmm a bit of a nobish thing to say, he did not blow him away but i suppose taking into account his lack of experience he was the more impresive without doubt. Im not going to say anymore until I see what happens this year with Button, Schumacher, Alonso, vettel. This year may really prove who is the best in F1.

  13. Hamilton keeps his opinion to himself and he’s a robotic McLaren media whore.
    He speaks his mind and he’s mind-blowingly arrogant.


    I will admit that part of the reason I love F1 is the panto element to it – loving your favorite driver, hating your least favorite driver – but you really have to question someone’s basic social abilitiy when they pick apart every single syllabal of every word uttered by their “enemy” driver and use it against them in whichever way they can.

    On the track, I “hate” Vettel and Alonso – but I have no vendetta against them except for when they’re behind the wheel during those special weekends we have between March and November… I certainly don’t go witch hunting every interview and try and base a deep understanding of their minds or personality on a few sound bites. Ultimately they’re amongst the best 20-26 racing drivers in the world and are entitled to at least a modicum of my respect. Conversely, despite this respect I don’t have much time for a lot of what they have to say, it’s the racing I’m more concerned about.

    This response applies to a large amount of the above posts… Some people need to grow up significantly! Perhaps I’m just over-estimating the age/maturity of the majority of the online F1 fan community…

  14. It never ceases to amaze me, the level of pettiness i come across sometimes on these forums;I personally think the blew away remark has been completely taken out of context, in all honesty anyone who followed the 2007 season would remember that Hamilton’s performance in comparison to his double world champion team mate during the course of the season was anything short of remarkable,and if we’re going to get all pedantic and analytical yes i dare say his performance blew every one away from pundits to fellow drivers and even we the spectators.. perhaps it might help if some take the time to look up the phrase “blew away” in the urban dictionary. And another suggestion would be to listen to the whole interview before making crass remarks. But at the end of the day however Blinkered your opinions might be or what ever spin you choose to put on it,the fact of the matter remains the young man is an exceptional talent the likes of which is very rare in F1.Since his debut in 2007 till date has scored more points than any other driver in F1. Love him or hate him the stats dont lie.

  15. It seens Hamilton thinks he´s a King now, Alonso is much a better driver than him and people, let´s not forget the shame he would suffer if in the McLaren scandale Hamilton will loose his points as well.
    Hamilton is just a kid, where fame put him in the spotlight, his comments about Alonso are shameful and above all not true.
    When Alonso, realised that he was not having the same chances to fight for the title, his head turned in other direction.
    With a car made for him and another driver finish with the same points, i would consider him a looser not someone who blew another one away!
    Grow up Hamilton!

  16. Nothing comes on a platter, one has to earn it. When Alonso was at Renault he was clearly given No.1 status as M.S. was at Ferrari. Initially McLaren didn’t favour Lewis. If you remember 2006 McLaren were considering Garry, Pedro, Lewis, etc., for the 2007 season. It was a gamble. They themselves didn’t know the talent of Lewis. Ron initially favoured Alonso a lot and made sure that he felt comfortable. When Lewis was not favoured he came 3rd in the 1st race, 2nd in the next all by himself. In Monacco if Ron didn’t told him slow down he would have been 1st again by his own talent.

    No one blew Alonso. He blew himself by being part of the Alonsogate. Every F1 driver is a human being and every humanbeing cracks under pressure. When a student rises above a teacher the teacher cracks, when a wife rises above a husband the husband cracks, like this if you take any occassion we do crack. Alonso tried everything in the book to get No.1 status but in vain.

    Forget about Lewis and Alonso for the time being. Please F1 fans think if someone blackmails you will you support him? I, wouldn’t. Hungary is there for everyone to look at what Alonso did. After this episode I won’t comment on whether Lewis was favoured or not but one thing on the Race Track no one helps or stops anyone. Lewis drove superbly in his maiden year. Till now S.V. inspite being in F1 for long cannot win if starting in the middle. Forget which country/religion/etc., he belongs to, Lewis is talanted. We humans tend to give recognize one’s talent only after their demise(Senna). We should be happy that we are seeing him race. We F1 fans should be happy once again that we are going to witness a fantastic 2010 year with M.S., Lewis and Alonso.
    Alonso Lewis
    Races 140 52
    Wins 21 11
    Podiums 53 27
    Poles 18 17
    Wins% 15 21.15
    Podiums% 37.86 51.92
    Poles% 12.86 32.69

    Stats speak for themselves.

    1. Great post. You hit the nail on the head. I remember Monaco very well where Hamilton could have won if not for Mclaren favouring Alonso. People forget what really happened and just spout rubbish to try and diminish Lewis’s talent. The Senna comment is also very true. I am very happy to be watching what i believe will turn out to be one of the best F1 drivers of all time. Leave the guy alone and enjoy the show.

    2. “stats speak for themselves’

      Yes but how many seasons has Lewis had a dog of a car? 1

      How many for Alonso? A lot more. The stats do not show the whole story. Far from it.

      Oh and yes i think highly of bothdrivers.

  17. @ads21

    I agree with your observation that Alonso improved as the 2007 season progressed. Hamilton had all the attention and all the kudos in the beginning, being a rookie and achieving all those podiums.
    As the season went along, the expectation on Hamilton increased and thats when he started making mistakes. Alonso, on the other hand, drove some of his best races of that year especially at Nurburgring and Monza. His wheel to wheel battle at Spa with Hamilton was a great piece of driving from both drivers, but showed Alonso’s experience in relation to Hamilton’s inexperience.
    Personally, I don’t think Hamilton believes he is better than Alonso. It appears he just enjoys rubbing people up the wrong way and getting into their heads. With someone like that, you just have to focus on ‘WHAT YOU ARE DOING’ and nothing else. I agree that this part of Hamilton’s character goes along way to explaining why so many people dislike him, however it was no different with Aryton Senna or Michael Schumacher.
    Could you imagine what it would have been like if Senna or Schumacher had been in the same team together? Fireworks, absolute fireworks, but it would have made great drama.

  18. Schumi_the_greatest
    8th January 2010, 16:46

    @ the limit

    totally agree with that…alot of sportsmen at the very top of their professions sometimes cross the line an that makes some people dislike them. Thats the difference between your schumachers, sennas, prosts and (i assume in years to come) hamilton, from the likes of button, hill, mansell, good/great drivers on their day but they lack that win at all costs attitude that prevents them becoming 1 of the greats

  19. Pedel to the Vettel
    8th January 2010, 17:39

    @Alistair “Just imagine Lewis at his peak”

    I think he is pritty much there in driving ability since he needs fast reflex’s to drive like that. When he gets in his 30’s he will have to adapt to be less aggressive, so sooner or later his experience will have to replace his raw ability and youth or he will never last long in the top flight F1 teams.

    when your 25 it’s all downhill baby….:p

    1. Tell that to Schumacher.

  20. A “win at all costs attitude” doesn’t make anyone a “great” driver, or at least it shouldn’t, and if it does, then there’s something wrong with our definition of a ‘Champion’.

    I hope that the 2010 WDC is won by someone that in F1 has never lied, cheated, moaned or has in any way caused any of us to think of them has being anything other than a good role model.

    1. “I hope that the 2010 WDC is won by someone that in F1 has never lied, cheated, moaned or has in any way caused any of us to think of them has being anything other than a good role model.”

      Umm, I struggling to think of who fits this criteria. Massa, Button or Vettel maybe?

      1. Yes, so unless you’d prefer to have a ‘cheat’ a ‘liar’ or whatever as a world champion, then you’d have to look elsewhere. :)

        Isn’t it better to win a WDC like Button did, rather than cheat and lie your way to one?

        I, for one, could not have stomached Hamilton winning this passed seasons WDC, simply because of what happened in Melbourne.

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.