Fernando Alonso admits that he is pleased to see former teammate Lewis Hamilton succeed in Formula 1. Hamilton is on the brink of winning his fifth Formula 1 title, and can do so this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.
Should Hamilton win the COTA race for a sixth time, he will bag the championship if Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finishes in third or lower. Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio are currently the only drivers that have won five or more championships.
Hamilton made his Formula 1 debut in 2007, joining McLaren alongside Alonso who was coming off the back of two consecutive titles. And Alonso, who will leave Formula 1 at the end of the season, admits that he is pleased with how Hamilton's career is panning out.
“In 2007 it was difficult to imagine what the future would bring for Lewis or for all the other guys on the grid. He showed his talent from day one, fighting for the championship in his rookie year and winning it in 2008,” Alonso said.
"At that time we could all agree that five or seven titles would be possible for him but then he had a couple of years down, due to the performance of the car, the switch to Mercedes, so maybe at that time we all thought it wouldn’t be possible, because at the time Mercedes was struggling in 2013. The feelings were up and down.
“But I’m happy for him because he showed the talent from day one. He was able to win races when the car was there to win them, but he was also able to win races in seasons when his car was not on top form, like 2009 and things like that. He was still winning a couple of Grands Prix per year, so it’s impressive.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing