Spanish F1 driver Fernando Alonso has recently been the talk of the town ever since his surprise signing to Aston Martin from Alpine, which spiraled essentially from the retirement of Sebastian Vettel from F1. Practice sessions on the last weekend of February made it evident that Aston Martin took an ‘aggressive’ approach with their all-new AMR23. Alonso was the fastest on the grid in FP3 and FP2, he complimented the AMR23 so well that he qualified in 5th place above the Englishmen at Mercedes on Saturday.
Alonso gave the fans a fair share of excitement when he clenched his 99th podium at Sakhir last weekend. Lance Stroll followed him finishing in 6th place, just above Mercedes’ George Russell. He displayed his skill in maneuvering the racecar around the windy Sakhir circuit.
Fernando Alonso takes home P3 in Bahrain and it’s his 99th podium of his career!#F1 #Formula1 #BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/onuV5cY83i— Fastest Pitstop (@FastestPitStop) March 5, 2023
At the race start, Alonso was hit on the rear by his teammate going into turn 4, causing him to drop down a place, but smart tire management helped him gain the podium.
The Spaniard in the post-race interview commented on the duel “It’s never the same when you fight against Lewis, one of the legends of our sport, and you know he can do something unexpected and use his talent.” The 2X WDC winner overtook both his ex-teammate, Lewis Hamilton, and his Spanish protégé, Carlos Sainz around turn 10 and the hairpin turn it progresses into.
Fernando Alonso vs Lewis Hamilton: A History
The fight we saw on the grid on race day had started about more than a decade ago. By 2007 Alonso had won 2 consecutive titles in a row at Renault. Lewis Hamilton, at that time, was in GP2 and was becoming a hot commodity in the F1 drivers’ market. Both the drivers represented Mclaren Mercedes in the same season and strongly competed with Ferrari at that time.
Fernando Alonso vs Lewis Hamilton in similar performing cars. Do whatever you want with this information. 😅 pic.twitter.com/NtknCTBsiS— TAKI 🇳🇬 (@TakiSanCF) February 8, 2023
At the Malaysian GP and Monaco, Alonso emerged victorious with Lewis Hamilton just finishing after him to give McLaren a one-two. Hamilton got 5 podiums in 5 races and won his first one on the 6th also proceeded to win the next at the United States GP with another one-two but in an inverted format as the Malaysian and Monaco GP.
Tensions intensified and it turned to Alonso allegedly blocking Hamilton in the pit lane during qualifying to secure the pole. They were so engrossed in battling each other that in the end, Kimi ‘Iceman’ Raikkonen edged past both of them fashionably to clench the WDC title. This resulted in Alonso’s departure back to Renault and turn Hamilton’s first-ever WDC by edging over Alonso’s replacement, Felipe Massa.
#OnThisDay 9 years ago: Kimi Raikkonen becomes an #F1 world champion – beating Hamilton & Alonso by ONE point >> https://t.co/MmeTvTfW6t— Formula 1 (@F1) October 21, 2016
After switching to Ferrari in 2010, Alonso finally had another opportunity to challenge for the championship but after a grueling season, Vettel came on top of his game. Post that season, the duo never competed actively on the grid as Hamilton’s dominance era began in 2014 at Mercedes.
The Bahrain GP 2023 was reminiscent of the spectacular rivalry among the ‘seniors’ of the grid. Hamilton and Alonso shared an emotional hug after the race and it was a milestone in the rivalry this far. With Aston Martin seemingly primed to fight for podiums this year, the Alonso-Hamilton rivalry might just see a revival. For older fans of the sport, their battle will be legendary.
Discussion about this post