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Alonso: We must stop pitting F1 fans against each other on social media

In an interview with the Dutch newspaper The Telegraph published on Saturday, two-time F1 world champion Alonso discussed former teammate Hamilton and current world champion Max Verstappen when reflecting on last year’s podium in Qatar.

Alonso said he felt Verstappen had “outperformed” Hamilton last year and was a worthy champion in 2021, adding: “I also have a lot of respect for Lewis. Still, it’s different when you win seven world titles when you’re alone fight with your teammate.

“Then I think a championship has less value than if you have fewer titles, but have had to fight against other drivers with equal or even better material.”

But after quotes picked up and started circulating at more outlets stating that Alpine driver Alonso valued Verstappen’s championships more than Hamilton’s titles, the Spaniard took to Twitter to clarify his comments.

He wrote: “And again… Please, all the titles are amazing, well deserved and inspiring. Incomparable to each other and let’s enjoy champions and legends of our present time.

“Tired of constantly searching for headlines. Let’s enjoy it.”

The quotes and tweet sparked fierce debate among fans on social media, but Alonso said he wanted to “try to help and make social media a better place” by clarifying his comments.

“We all have to work on that,” Alonso says. “We have to stop pitting the fans against each other.

“We are all in the same [thing]. Great champions, great athletes, and we try to enjoy this good time.”

Alonso noted in the original interview that he did not fight Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella for his titles in 2005 and 2006, nor did Verstappen compete against Sergio Perez or former team-mate Alex Albon to win races.

Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault celebrate in Parc Ferme

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“But [Michael] Schumacher in particular fought with his teammate Rubens Barrichello to become champions five times in a row, and Hamilton with Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas,” Alonso added.

“That’s different, I guess.”

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But seemingly in response to Alonso’s comments, Hamilton posted a photo of them together on the podium at the 2007 United States Grand Prix when they were teammates at McLaren.

The race saw Alonso become enraged at McLaren when he lost to Hamilton – then in his rookie season – amid a bitter season that ended with Alonso leaving after just one year.

Hamilton posted the photo of him standing on the top step of the podium with his hand on Alonso’s shoulder, simply with a thumbs up emoji.

Additional reporting by Erwin Jaeggi

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