Alpine driver Fernando Alonso believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton deserved to have the title split in two after a dramatic season. Verstappen and Hamilton entered the final race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to equalize in points, but the Dutchman had one victory more with which he had a certain advantage.
The Briton overtook the Dutchman in the race at the start, but the Red Bull driver soon retaliated. The driver of the Mercedes cut the bend and came back to the leading position. But a return to position was expected here. The race management thought they would not conduct an investigation about that.
Hamilton then come off from Verstappen. The turnaround came after the SC came out, when the 24-year-old went on a tire change that allowed him to overtake the seven-time champion in the final lap. It was Verstappen’s 10th win of the season securing his first career title, while Hamilton remained at number seven.
Alonso has experience with showdowns in the last races, with the Spaniard winning the last race in 2006 but also losing in 2007, 2010 and 2012. "Fantastically. He is the champion, it was only a matter of time before he won the trophy, "said Alonso about Verstappen's first title.
"I think he was lucky today. Without a safety car Lewis would be a world champion, and with a safety car Max is a world champion. So, it is pure luck that happened today. " "I guess it will be a big topic, but if you take into account 22 races, as I said on Thursday, either of them could be a world champion."
"I think this was a year when you could split the trophy (title) into two parts more than any other year because they were both outstanding," he explains.
Alonso on Lewis and Max
The two-time champion added that Hamilton was at the another level, especially in the second part of the championship.
He assures that Mercedes was faster, but that Bottas was not the second driver and that the Briton was the one who had better performance. “Lewis drove at the another level, especially in the second part of the championship.
Mercedes was a faster car, yes, but Valteri was not second (driver), Lewis showed that performance. " "When you lose the championship because of a safety car at the last minute, you certainly feel a little sorry."
"As I said on Thursday, I was giving 51-49 (percent) for Max and I was clear from the start because I thought there were a few unfortunate moments for Max more than Lewis during the season." "The new is sometimes more attractive than the old in terms of the new champion, it's good when you see the stands.
If Max wins four or five championships one day, then a new driver will come, and he will be like a big attraction. I think that's what I feel now, "Alonso concluded.