Ex-Mercedes VP Recalls How Lewis Hamilton Shocked Fernando Alonso in 2007

Published 09/30/2021, 6:05 AM EDT
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Mclaren Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Fernando Alonso of Spain appear at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Lewis Hamilton recently reached what is arguably the greatest-ever milestone of Formula 1 – securing 100 Grand Prix victories. And the race to attaining such an unreachable peak ignited in 2007 when the seven-time world champion made his debut for McLaren.

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While many anticipated Fernando Alonso to crush his rookie teammate, the reality was rather shockingly contrasting. It was the Briton who out-raced his two-time championship-winning teammate after equalizing on points.

Consequently, that was the point the most of the F1 community realized a world champion was in the making. Only in Alonso’s case, he had to take a significant beating in the process of being struck with this realization.

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Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

And former Mercedes-Benz vice president, Norbert Haug, too, reportedly acknowledged the same during an interview with Servus TV. The German reckoned that Alonso wasn’t ready for a driver like Hamilton, despite winning back-to-back championships in his previous couple of years with Renault.

Fernando Alonso was the best example. He just couldn’t imagine a rookie going as fast as a two-time world champion. But with Lewis, that was the case at the time,” he said, according to SoyMotor.

Lewis Hamilton has almost won 1 in 3 races: Haug

The German journalist took the mathematical route to describe the greatness of Hamilton. Haug reckoned that the Briton had won at least 1 in 3 races over his entire F1 career.

Ten years ago, no one would have thought that someone would reach and break Michael Schumacher’s record,” he said.

Lewis has achieved his 100 victories in 15 years and in 281 races. On average, he has won almost one in three races. Although he has often had the best car, it is something quite remarkable.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP (L) and Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 (R) talk in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

He further revealed why drivers like Hamilton and Max Verstappen stand out as the best drivers. “These guys strongly believe in themselves.

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If a driver doubts himself, then there are immediate opportunities for others. The best drivers like Hamilton and Verstappen in 2021 have this absolute confidence, they think ‘no one can beat me’.

Overall, Hamilton’s job isn’t over, with his eye still pretty much intact on the big prize; the record-breaking 8th world championship title.

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The only obstruction has been the flying Dutchman, who remains reluctant in giving up on his battle with the Mercedes driver. So, in what has been a neck-and-neck rivalry, who is ultimately going to grab the trophy?

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Rohit Kumar

1245 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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