Fernando Alonso says he is “tired of the continuous search for headlines” after saying many of Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher’s championships were less valuable than the two he won.
Hamilton and Schumacher sit level with the record of seven drivers’ championships each, while Max Verstappen moved level with Alonso on two titles this season.
While Alonso acknowledges the dominance Verstappen has enjoyed this year, he told De Telegraaf that Hamilton and Schumacher regularly only had their team-mates as title threats, though he rates both as legends of the sport that made the only podium of his Formula 1 comeback so far – alongside Hamilton and Verstappen in Qatar last year – particularly special.
“It was a great moment for me to get back on the podium,” Alonso said. “And not after a race full of luck and with, with all due respect, lesser drivers. No, we really deserved it and I was there next to Max and Lewis too.
“This year Max is very dominant and at some point he was able to cruise to the world title. Last season it was different. I thought he outperformed Lewis in the end and I think he is a worthy champion.
“I also have a lot of respect for Lewis. Still, it’s different when you win seven world titles, when you’ve only had to fight with your team-mate. Then I think that a championship has less value than if you have fewer titles, but you have had to compete against other drivers with equal or even better material.
“In 2005 and 2006 I had a good start to the year and I was able to create a lead. Then others may have had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap. I never had to fight with my team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella to win the title.
“I also didn’t see Max fight Sergio Pérez or Alex Albon to win races. But Schumacher mainly fought with his teammate Rubens Barrichello to become champion five times in a row and Hamilton with Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas. That’s different, I think.”
Following the publication of the comments, Alonso took to social media to clarify his stance on what each driver has achieved, saying it’s not about which driver is better based on their record.
“And again…Please, all the titles are amazing, well deserved and inspiring,” Alonso tweeted. “Incomparable to each other and let’s enjoy champions and legends of our current time. Tired of the continuous search for headlines. Let’s enjoy them.”