Fittipaldi: If you think about it, yes, Alonso is correct

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Emerson Fittipaldi backs Fernando Alonso’s statement that some of Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 world titles have less value as the Mercedes star had to mainly battle his teammates to be Champion seven times.

The statement triggered the usual toxicity among the digital maggots on social media, and also a cheeky tweet from Hamilton while Alonso went on to clarify that Hamilton’s titles were “amazing” and well deserved.

That was damage control from the Spanish veteran but food for thought nevertheless as there will always be debate about who should have won when, or who is the best

Facts are, unlike Alonso, Hamilton took maximum advantage of being in the best team in the best car to become the best driver, ditto the great Michael Schumacher who was also ‘accused’ of dominating without much challenge during his title streak.

The same was said of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost during their heyday, when they alone dueled for F1 titles – at times lapping or almost lapping the entire field. Same thing, with Sebastian Vettel with his incredible run of four titles It must be ironic for the ignorant that all those F1 drivers accused of dominance are among the GOATs of the sport.

Alonso: I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but…

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Last month, Alonso quoted by Racing365, commented on Max Verstappen sealing his second title in a row: “I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but still it is different when you win seven world titles when you only had to fight with your teammate.

“Then I think a championship has less value than when you have fewer titles but have had to fight against other drivers with equal or even better material.”

Of course, Alonso was referencing Verstappen’s hard-fought F1 title battle last year with Hamilton, and of course, Red Bull’s demolition job on their rivals this year, which the Dutchman leading the charge and delivering to the…. Max!

Despite backtracking afterward as he tends to do when he speaks his mind and rattles cages, Alonso is not alone in his views with F1 legend Fittipaldi explaining the gist of what the 41-year-old Alpine driver meant, and agreeing with him in the Brazilian’s latest column for VegasInsider.

Fittipaldi said: “Very difficult to analyse but the point that Fernando mentioned has merit because now it is extremely competitive. Much more than when Lewis was winning the championships, that was against his teammate. Now, you have Max who is against a lot of different people.

“If you think about it, yes, Fernando is correct. The level, the gap among the top five cars in any qualifying this year is very close. Much closer than when Lewis and Nico, or Lewis and Bottas were there. They were quite superior to the field. Now the field is very close. I like it now,” ventured Fittipaldi.

What title has more value, the one beating your teammate or the one beating drivers from rival teams?

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Stats show that on route to his first F1 World title in 2008, Hamilton beat Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa while demolishing his teammate Heikki Kovalainen; in 2014 and 2015, Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished first and second respectively.

In 2016, Rosberg beat Hamilton, again the Silver Arrows duo finishing one-two in the F1 drivers’ championship that year; in 2019 and  2020 Hamilton was champion with teammate Valtteri Bottas runner-up.

In 2017 and 2018, Hamilton won both titles for Mercedes, his main challenger was Sebastian Vettel during his days at Ferrari who finished second in both those years.

Final word to Alonso, on his own path two the two F1 world titles he has to his name: “In 2005 and 2006, I had a good start to the year myself and was able to create a lead. Then others might have had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap.

“I never had to fight with my teammate to win those titles. Nor did I see Max fighting with Perez or Albon to win races. But Schumacher in particular fought with his teammate to become champion five times in a row and Hamilton fought with Rosberg and Bottas. That’s different, I think,” concluded the veteran Alpine driver.

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix aka the Brazilian Grand Prix takes place this weekend at Autodromo Carlos Pace, Interlagos in Sao Paulo where Fittipaldi won the inaugural GP in his homeland, and a year later did the same as a McLaren driver with who he went on to win the 1974 F1 World Championship, to add to the one he won in 1972.