“No way I’m finishing behind him”: Lewis Hamilton lets guard down over Fernando Alonso animosity during pressure-filled Australian GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his best result of the season as he claimed a P2 finish at the Australian Grand Prix.

While it was reason to celebrate for the seven-time world champion following a difficult start to the season, things got so tight at one stage that he couldn’t maintain a diplomatic stance on a topic that he almost always does.

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso. Credit: autocar.com
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso. Credit: autocar.com

Hamilton started in third, but quickly moved to second ahead of Max Verstappen during the opening lap.

He proceeded to then take on his teammate George Russell and found himself in the lead quite early in the race as Russell pitted.

There was no catching Max, though, who was just too quick compared to any other car on the track. Hamilton was soon forced to accept this as Max made light work of him.

While he seemed comfortable with the fact that he was coming second, there was a moment or two when he was put under pressure by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

He made it clear to his team engineer Peter Bonnington that there was no way he was ready to finish behind Alonso.

“There’s no way I’m losing to him [Alonso],” Hamilton said over the team radio.

As things panned out, Hamilton was able to keep his spot ahead of Alonso and is now placed P4 in the drivers’ standings.

While Mercedes hasn’t been anywhere near the quickest car on the grid, Hamilton will be happy that he has still managed a top-5 finish in every race so far.

Terming the podium finish in Melbourne as a “real boost of hope”, Hamilton conceded that catching up with Red Bull will be extremely difficult.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do clearly to catch the Red Bull because they came flying past and disappeared,” Hamilton said.

“But I think this hopefully gives us a real boost of hope and energy. That it’s so early on in the season yet we’re there are thereabouts kind of so this is a message everyone should just dig deep keep pushing, because it’s not that far away and it’s relatively close to reach.

“Max is in another league. His car is so fast, he passed me halfway down the straight and he was several metres ahead, like 10 metres ahead [before the corner], but I don’t know how they’re so quick on the straight – it’s just insane.

“So they’re just in another league and until we pick up speed on the straight like they have, and have the crazy downforce that they have through the corners, that’s how it’s going to continue.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Credit: planetf1.com
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. Credit: planetf1.com

“But I think for the others, I think if we continue to work together, we can definitely fight the Ferraris and the Red Bulls.

“The battle is really with Fernando right now. I enjoyed racing with him, it was very reminiscent of my first race here in 2007.”

Read more: Lewis Hamilton addresses Max Verstappen’s ‘illegal driving’ jibe as fierce rivalry finds new life

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