Speaking recently on F1's Beyond the Grid podcast, de la Rosa explained how he felt the driver pairing could have gone on to be very successful had tensions between the pair not boiled over throughout the year.
"I was surprised how it all exploded," de la Rosa said. "If we look back, that driver pairing is possibly the strongest there’s ever been. Ever. So it’s nothing against Senna/Prost, they’re my heroes, forever heroes, but that level – Fernando/Lewis – was amazing.
"I remember looking at their data and thinking, ‘these guys are from a different planet’. And still, I was not expecting for the relationship to explode. It was a shame because those guys would have brought so many championships to McLaren."
Despite the level of tension and constant mind games between the pair, de la Rosa assures that the pair still held respect for one another on the circuit.
De la Rosa explained how the pair never made contact or dangerous moves on each other while racing, and that the on-track battles were always fair between both drivers.
"They always respected each other massively at the track because they knew how good the other was, although they never said it publicly, they had a lot of respect for each other," de la Rosa commented.
"There was nothing wrong ever done at the racetrack between them. It was always a strong fight but fair.
"There was no pushing, breaking the front wing or nothing. There was just… two gladiators fighting bravely at the racetrack so I have no bad memories about that.
"Both were massively fast, talented, and then I think Lewis learned a lot from Fernando that year."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing