Lewis Hamilton hopes to battle Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso for the F1 world championship in the future. F1 news

Fernando Alonso finished second and Lewis Hamilton third. The three world champions were generous with each other’s praise following the race; Verstappen went 69 points clear in the drivers’ standings

0:00, UK, Monday 19 June 2023

Lewis Hamilton says a 2021-style „super tight” Formula 1 world championship battle with Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso is „sick”.

Three of the sport’s reigning world champions finished on the podium at Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, with Verstappen taking Red Bull’s 100th F1 win and Aston Martin’s Alonso holding off the Mercedes of Hamilton for second.

Seven-times world champion Hamilton has endured a frosty relationship with Alonso since the pair fell out while at McLaren in 2008, while the Briton was embroiled in one of the most intense title battles in the sport’s history when Verstappen took his first victory. 2021.

However, as Verstappen’s dominant form left Alonso and Hamilton struggling for a scrap for second place, more warmth seemed to have developed between the Mercedes driver and his rivals.

After finishing third at the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was satisfied with his Mercedes’ improved performance recently.

„It’s a privilege here to fight with these two guys who have done so incredibly well in their careers,” said Hamilton, after the trio sat on the podium together for the second time in Australia this season.

„It’s a great top three – I don’t know if there’s been a top three like it before, I don’t believe there is.

„I really hope that our cars will have a more level playing field and then we will have more exciting races in the future.

„I’m happy to be back in the mix and I’m sure at some point we can be a bit more, so we can get back to some of the good racing we’ve had again in 2021.

„Having the three of us in such a tight battle would be sickening.”

Alonso 'really enjoyed’ intense Hamilton battle

Alonso began the afternoon with Red Bull’s ambitions to start the season on a seven-match winning streak, his task quickly changed when Hamilton took second from him at the opening corner.

Alonso used his upgraded Aston Martin to battle past Hamilton shortly after the opening round of pit stops, but ultimately lacked the pace to take the fight to Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso almost collided in the pitlane as they battled for second before the Aston Martin driver overtook on lap 22.

„Good, great,” said Alonso, the two-time world champion. „I really enjoy these fights. I think this stage happened in Australia, last time, and now here.

„There’s a lot of respect, a lot of skill, when you’re fighting against Max, Lewis, you know you can’t make a mistake because they’re going to take advantage of it and they’re not going to make a mistake.

“So if you want to beat them, you have to be tenths of a tenth faster to close that gap, and that doesn’t help at all.

Fernando Alonso is confident of catching Red Bull, hailing Aston Martin’s 'most competitive’ race to date in Canada.

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„It’s a very intense battle, very fair, very respectful. Even the overtaking opportunity I had in TRS when I beat Lewis, you know you can trust what he’s doing – he’ll defend hard but within the limits.

„(It’s) the same at the start – when you start with these guys in the front two rows, I think there’s an awareness and respect that sometimes isn’t there in other areas.”

Verstappen: Racing them is one of the best things

Verstappen extended his lead over Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez to 69 points and strengthened his grip on the world championship.

A fourth consecutive race win for the 25-year-old Dutchman put him firmly on course for a third successive drivers’ title, while a 41st career win saw him level with Ayrton Senna for fifth on the sport’s all-time wins list.

Max Verstappen, team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey hailed Red Bull’s 100th win at the Canadian Grand Prix.

While Verstappen is building a special legacy for himself, he reserved some very respectful words for 41-year-old Alonso and 38-year-old Hamilton.

„I remember the day I was already in Formula 1 watching the two of them race against each other,” Verstappen said.

“So, of course, I’m very happy that I’m in F1 now, racing them is probably one of the best things out there.

„When we share a stage together, we’ve done it a few times and I think it’s really good. I think they want to switch positions, of course, and I’m happy at the moment.”

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