Lewis Hamilton told he is ‘separate’ to the rest of the F1 grid due to ‘different’ life

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Fernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton is ’separate’ from the rest of the grid due to his different choice of lifestyle. Alonso returned to the sport with Alpine after originally retiring from F1 following the 2018 season, in which he drove for McLaren.

The 40-year-old is considered one of the greatest drivers in history, winning successive world championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006.

He joined forces with McLaren alongside a rookie Lewis Hamilton in 2007, but his tenure at the team lasted a single season as the pair’s relationship deteriorated harshly across the campaign.

It was an explosive season, as McLaren were fined $100million and disqualified from the constructors’ title when it was found they may have benefitted from secret Ferrari information in Spygate. 

Alonso, whose public frustrations with McLaren arguably led to the investigation in 2007, admitted he has tumultuous relationship with the seven-time world champion. 

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“We talked in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and we were closer than ever in those years because we understood that in 2007 we were not very well managed by our bosses,” Alonso told the PA news agency.

“Then we were both very young and very competitive and we needed some kind of guidance and we didn’t get it. It was an easy conclusion to make of the 2007 season, and we respected each other a lot and understood each other a lot, too.

“Now we have this respectful relationship, but maybe it is colder than it used to be.

“We have different opinions on different things. Lewis has a different lifestyle to many of us and that separates us.”

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Alonso may be referring to Hamilton’s celebrity lifestyle, with the Brit working as a model and singer in the past, as well as attending exclusive celebrity events like the Met Gala.

Such public appearances have certainly not caused Hamilton to lose focus on the current title race, which took another twist at the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend. 

After being awarded a five-place grid penalty, Hamilton had one of his great drives to climb from P10 and take the chequered flag at Interlagos.

On lap 48, the two rivals were battling for the lead with Hamilton’s Mercedes appearing to narrowly edge ahead of the Red Bull, which was on the inside. 

Verstappen ran wide and the move forced both drivers off the track, with the Dutchman holding the lead for a few more laps before the seven-time world champion finally took the lead.

An investigation was deemed unnecessary after the FIA consulted footage provided by broadcast cameras – but Verstappen’s on-board footage shows the Dutchman clearly didn’t turn as aggressively as he could have, forcing Hamilton from the road. 

Regardless, Alonso spoke of their exceptional battle for the championship and hailed it as important for the sport.

“It is good for the sport in general,” added Alonso.

“Everybody loves a real fight, not an artificial fight or one between team-mates.

“Some races have been strong for Mercedes and some have been strong for Red Bull, but the fight should go on until Abu Dhabi and that is exactly what the sport should be.”

Alonso is currently 10th in the standings ahead of the final three races but hopes the imminent regulations ahead of the 2022 season will allow him to be competitive at the front of the grid – and maybe even add to his two world championships. 

Formula 1 travels to the Losail Circuit for the Qatar Grand Prix on November 21, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding a 14-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.

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