Alonso is the fastest driver, says Hamilton
11 March 2013 – Lewis Hamilton has described former McLaren team-mate and two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso as the fastest driver in Formula 1 ahead of the 2013 campaign, returning the favour after heavy praise from the Spaniard earlier this year.
Hamilton, who is embarking upon his maiden season at Mercedes, says he is much more excited by his rivalry with Alonso than recent team-mate Jenson Button and believes it will be 'a real challenge' to outscore the Ferrari man this term.
"Talking about a rivalry with Jenson doesn't really excite me, the rivalry with Fernando excites me more," Hamilton explained to The Mail on Sunday. "He's the guy I want to beat. You also want to beat Seb [Vettel], as they are the ones with most titles.
"But Alonso's the fastest driver I can see. Anyone would struggle to beat him. You've got to try and stay ahead of him in a Ferrari that's competitive. That's going to be a real challenge."
In 2007, when Alonso and Hamilton were team-mates, both drivers picked up four race victories and scored 109 points. Hamilton, however, was ranked higher because of more second place finishes, claiming five to surpass Alonso's total of four.