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Hamilton 'blown away' by Alonso
Lewis Hamilton said that he was "blown away" by comments made by Fernando Alonso that he is the only driver who can win a title without the best car.
Hamilton and Alonso have endured a colourful relationship since their season as team-mates in 2007. With Hamilton in his debut year, Alonso expected Number 1 driver status, but believed the team was favouring Hamilton to the extent that he even blocked the second McLaren in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix to prevent him attempting to take pole position.
Since then, despite Hamilton labelling Alonso as his "nemesis", the relationship between the two has improved, and after being told by the BBC that Alonso said "he's the one who's able to clinch a championship with a car that's not the best", Hamilton returned the compliment.
"I'm blown away Fernando is so positive towards me despite my season," Hamilton said. "It's nice to know I've got support from some drivers. Despite the relationship we've had, I think our friendship and the respect we have for one another has got a lot stronger. So it's nice to see that coming out because I've only ever said he is one of the best drivers, if not the best driver here."
Alonso had commented on Hamilton's disappointing 2011 season, saying that there were a number of factors that could have caused it but that he was still the driver he was most fearful of.
"Hamilton did not have a super season this year, who knows whether it was due to the Pirelli tyres or the fact that with blown diffusers now driving has changed," Alonso said. "On top of that, [Jenson] Button is having a great year. All of this concurred to give the impression that his season hasn't been so good.
"But let's consider India, when he took second place in qualifying. It's like soccer: if Real Madrid or Barcelona are not performing particularly well on a given season, that does not mean that they're not top league. In fact, at the next winter testing he [Hamilton] will be the only one I'll be watching closely. The other guys can win if they've got the best car; he's the one who's able to clinch a championship with a car that's not the best."