F1 fans have favourite in Hamilton and Alonso debate

Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season

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Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have had a reversal of fortunes in 2023 as Mercedes and Aston Martin get used to different statuses on the F1 grid. Hamilton has swept all aside since F1’s turbo-hybrid era was launched in 2014 while Alonso struggled in midfield cars.

However, Aston Martin’s turnaround in 2023 has been spectacular with the British manufacturer challenging Red Bull in Bahrain. Meanwhile, Mercedes have struggled since the new regulations were launched last season with the team now the fourth-fastest in the sport.

It has led F1 fans to back the Spaniard over the seven-time champion in a major blow to Mercedes’ hopes of keeping fans on-side. According to a new Express Sport poll, a staggering 69 per cent of readers believe Alonso will beat Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship.

Just under a third believe Hamilton will have enough to finish ahead of the 41-year-old due to the extent of Aston Martin’s performance gains. Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz has also predicted Alonso could give Mercedes a run for the money.

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He explained: “They finished seventh in the Constructors’ Championship last year. I think they are heading for third or better this year.” Martin Brundle also tipped Aston Martin to be the “surprise team” of the year ahead of the first race.

Aston Martin’s resurgence could lead to an increase in tensions between the pair on-and-off track. The two stars had a heated relationship when they were team-mates at McLaren in 2007 and a rivalry has continued to exist between the pair.

Last season. Alonso stressed Hamilton’s success was not as impressive as many of his F1 rivals due to his dominance in the sport. Alonso told De Telegraaf: “I have a lot of respect for Lewis, but it is different when you win seven world titles and you only had to fight with your team-mate.

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“A championship has less value when you have fewer titles, but have had to fight against other drivers with equal or even better material.” Alonso also branded Hamilton an “idiot” and claimed he could only race from the front after the two collided at the Belgian Grand Prix.

After Bahrain, Aston Martin boss Mike Krack revealed the team were confident it could keep up with their rivals in the development race throughout the season. He commented: “Well you know Dan [Fallows] is very good and if Dan says that I trust him. So yeah we have a plan in place.

“But the others have a plan in place as well. So it could well be that if you develop at the same rate you stay where you are. So let’s see where we get to.”

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