F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Reveals Who He Thinks Was His Greatest Competitor
This weekend’s French Grand Prix will be Lewis Hamilton’s 300th F1 race, so it will come as no surprise that Lewis Hamilton will be looking to take his first race win of the season here.
The 7-time world champion has 103 wins and poles to his name and ties with Michael Schumacher with the most world championship wins ever in the sport. This weekend will make him one of only six drivers to complete 300 F1 Grand Prix, joining the ranks of Jenson Button, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Despite this, Hamilton still holds one specific race close to his heart:
“I think the first Grand Prix is always going to be one, and your first win, I would say those two – or your home Grand Prix as well,” he said.
“Probably those three are the stand-out ones – 2008, 2007 – just because the whole realisation of reaching your dream is a very surreal experience.
“And it is always just going to be your first; there’s only one first, and so just getting to the first Grand Prix in 2007, the amount of sleepless nights as a family that all of us had had, not knowing whether or not we would reach our goal or reach our dream but never giving up, nonetheless, but being there. That’s probably the real highlight.”
Hamilton was also asked about his rivalries during his career, where he highlighted his “strongest competitor”:
“I think it’s difficult to say who has necessarily been my strongest competitor, because every time you’re with someone you’re in a different place of your life. I remember the task of being alongside Fernando [Alonso] when I was 22, you know, I was so young mentally and of course… in terms of skill – but it’s a lot of pressure to go up against a great like him.
“Out of pure pace, I think I would say it’s Fernando, and ability. We had some good battles, I wish we could have more. Hopefully he will continue to race, and hopefully we will have more in the future.”
Following this, Alonso was asked about how Hamilton has changed over the years on the track:
“I don’t think he changed much to be honest,” he said. “He had the talent already in 2007 and he still has the talent now, with experience. He has been a tremendous driver and a legend of our sport.
“So, it has been always a pleasure to share all this time with him and back then, probably, no one thought someone will be able to win seven titles as Michael [Schumacher did].
“But yes, the journey has been amazing and the team that they all built in Mercedes over these years, it was outstanding. Congratulations for the 300th [race], and hopefully another win soon.”