World Champion Lewis Hamilton is optimistic that his former team McLaren and ex-teammate Fernando Alonso become challengers in the F1 world championship now that they have changed to Renault power.
Hamilton started his Formula 1 career with McLaren in 2007 and stayed with them until 2012 before switching to Mercedes.
Alonso and Hamilton had a troubled relationship as teammates when they were working in McLaren. But their relationship has improved over the years.
At the Brazilian Grand Prix, both the drivers were fighting for the ninth place with two different goals in mind. For Alonso, it was only a matter of adding more points; While Hamilton was gunning for his fourth title. The fight was a very intense one, and Hamilton wants more such fights in the future.
“I had a great battle with Fernando earlier this year, towards the end of this season,” said Hamilton. “I’d love to have more battles with him on a much more level playing ground.
“They’ve had such a difficult time. Given that I grew up with McLaren from 13, I go through qualifying, and I always look to see where Fernando is, I always look to see where they are and am watching their progress.
“There’s just a natural place in my heart for them, because I achieved a huge amount with them.
“I really, really hope next year is a successful year for them, I really hope we are battling with them because McLaren deserves to be at the front.
“I hope with this new power unit they’re there with us. I hope we have another incredible world champion up there with us fighting for the world championship.”
Alonso is having a dry spell, with his last race win coming in 2013 Spanish GP with Ferrari. In his three seasons with McLaren, he had only three finishes in the top five.
McLaren had a major management change in 2017, putting Zak Brown as the team boss. But for Hamilton, the team is always associated with his former boss Ron Dennis.
“It’s a fantastic team with incredible history,” said Hamilton. “I’m incredibly proud of what Ron did with that team. It doesn’t matter who takes over, for me, it’s always Ron’s team.”