In the recent post about Fernando Alonso claiming that he is responsible for more than half a second of the McLaren teams gains this year and that Alonso wants more McLaren recognition and love, Lewis Hamilton has now weighed in with his views, hitting back at Alonso’s claims.
Hamilton did acknowledge that Alonso has played a big part and has contributed “hugely” to the team this year, he said that Alonso has not recognized the contribution of the 1000 other staff at McLaren Mercedes in the teams great form this year.
In an interviw on ITV Hamilton said “It’s a lot of people, so if he’s found six tenths, then what have they found? It’s really through their work.”
“You know… they make improvements, we test them out, so it’s really a team thing; it’s not one individual that’s found all that time.”
McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh also weighed in with his views on Alonso’s comments “I think Fernando is immensely competitive and looking for an advantage,” he said. “He’s certainly bringing a lot — he’s a great, great driver.”
Niki Lauda has also chipped in his views on the current complaining and moaning by Alonso, adding that he thinks that Alonso is just handing the advantage to Hamilton, as he is more focused than Alonso and is just getting on with the job.
“When they sit in the car, you cannot control them,” the Austrian legend told the German newspaper Die Welt. He predicted that the pair will “try everything” to become this year’s world champion. “He (Alonso) is complaining, he is thinking about Renault or BMW, it cannot be helpful for him now. He is not focused enough.”
Lauda also thinks that Alonso’s behavior and attitude with McLaren is “dangerous” because if it has not already, it will make him outsider in his own team. “It could be the beginning of a negative spiral for him, especially if he does not get a grip on it.”
Alonso and 2008
Alonso also made reference to where he will drive in 2008 this weekend, admitting that his options are limited “There are not many options I think and I have a contract with McLaren so the possibilities for the near future are around here, driving for McLaren”.
He was also asked if he was happy at McLaren and he replied “As far as I have a winning car, I’m happy. This year we have a winning car, we are 1st and 2nd in the drivers and leading the constructors so I am happy”
This adds fuel to the fire that some of his recent comments have been misunderstood by many, as it seems form his comments that no matter what is going on in the team, if he has a winning car he is ok. How that leaves the rest of the McLaren team feeling is unknown, but I am sure that within the 1000 people employed by the team and related companies it does not sit well. As Niki Lauda commented he is on the fast track to becoming an outsider within his own team, which is dangerous for any driver.
With Alonso being realistic on his options for 2008, Niki Lauda added his comments to Alonso’s own comments, saying Alonso would be imbecilic to leave McLaren. “He has a contract with McLaren until 2009, so, Dennis would need $10 million for his release, Alonso would want $20 million from his team — no driver is worth that much.”
Lauda, then added his own take on F1 drivers, “F1 drivers are assholes, nothing is different to in my day. Only with arrogance can you be successful. But instead of complaining constantly, Alonso needs to simply try to beat his teammate on the track.”