Not Lewis Hamilton: Fernando Alonso Names His Toughest F1 Teammate

Published 10/27/2021, 3:35 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault Sport F1 poses for a photo with his 2005 F1 title winning Renault R25 and members of the Renault team from the same year during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)


When someone frames the question – who was the toughest teammate of Fernando Alonso? – what would be your response? The Spaniard has enjoyed quite a lot of battles and rivalries throughout his mammoth F1 career, but the one that caught our attention was certainly his brief bit with the then-rookie, Lewis Hamilton.

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One might disagree with this, but let’s look at the scenario. Alonso had just won two back-to-back championship titles with Renault. And there’s a silver lining to this as well. His rival wasn’t just another driver, but the seven-time world champion, Michael Schumacher, himself.

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 United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, United States. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Hence, coming into McLaren with sheer confidence only to watch a British rookie take it all away in a matter of 1 season is shocking enough. Well, this is why most of the F1 fandom would agree upon the statement, Lewis Hamilton is indeed Alonso’s toughest teammate.

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But Alonso doesn’t seem as pleased with framing Hamilton as his toughest teammate. Instead, the two-time world champion pointed his finger to former Renault teammate, Jarno Trulli.

What did Fernando Alonso say?

During an interview at the United States GP, Alonso revealed that Trulli was his toughest teammate. “My toughest teammate, I would say that it was Jarno Trulli at the beginning in Renault, he was very fast, and I learned a lot from him,” he said.

It is agreeable. Alonso joined Renault in 2003 as a rookie, while Trulli had just come from a rather bitter-sweet season with his 2002 Renault teammate, Jenson Button. Trulli couldn’t keep up with Alonso, as the Italian ended up 22 points adrift Alonso by the end of the season.

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Then arrived 2004, which witnessed a whole new face of the Italian. He was on fire through the first part of the season; Trulli failed to score points only once in 10 Grand Prix weekends. But things went haywire after the French Grand Prix.

A mistake from Trulli that led Rubens Barrichello to claim his podium position in France caused a stir within the team and Trulli was on the firing line. Since that moment, Trulli failed to finish in the top 7 until the very end of the season; seven race weekends without a championship point.

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Alonso used to opportunity to yet again defeat Trulli and clinched P4 in the championship as opposed to his teammate’s P6. And that marked the rise of a world champion!

Watch Story: Lewis Hamilton’s Biggest F1 Crashes

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Rohit Kumar

1439 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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