Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are almost always discussed together in F1 circles, sharing dozens of battles and headlining many controversial news stories over the years. For the first time in almost a decade, they race in similar machinery – which has already produced fireworks in 2023.
The two World Champions are now the elder statesmen in F1, having started their rivalry together as two young trail-blazers at McLaren.
Both Alonso and Hamilton are frequently asked about retirement, given they are both around 40 years old. However, neither driver is showing any signs of slowing down or dropping in performance.
The Spaniard, in particular, has been subject to talk of retirement, receiving questions on the issue on a semi-regular basis since making his comeback.
Speaking to the media in Italy, Alonso dismissed any suggestions that age is detrimental to speed:
“Until now, no one has shown it to me so far,” Mundo Deportivo quotes them as saying.
“Age can sometimes be a problem with demotivation, or you see that you are no longer at 100% of your performance – or your focus and your concerns are other than F1.
“Something like that can happen with age and because of the life we have.
“But in the case of Hamilton, who continues to perform at 100% and his concern is F1 – like in my case – it isn’t a problem.
“When someone faster comes, we’ll talk, but at the moment, Hamilton is faster than anyone.”
In a season where Verstappen and Red Bull continue to dominate, the battle between Alonso and Hamilton has been a highlight in 2023.
With three now-established World Champions on the grid, fans will be hopeful that next year will see these heavyweights fight for race wins.
Until then, comfort can be found in the fact that two drivers that have defined F1 for years will continue in the foreseeable future.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang