Lewis Hamilton tried to put some distance between himself and comments he made following the Korean Grand Prix claiming Sebastian Vettel’s domination has made F1 a turn-off for viewers.
In a series of Twitter posts on Tuesday Hamilton said he’d “read some of the stories/reports of my comments on Seb” and wanted “to clarify my thoughts”.
“Seb is great champion!” he began, calling his rival “a great human being who is funny and humble” and “deserves all the success he is having”.
“I admire his dedication and ability to consistently perform without mistakes,” Hamilton continued, “this is the mark of a true champion”.
Alluding to his previous comments about the performance of the Red Bull RB9, Hamilton added: “Regardless of what you and I may think about his car at the end of the day he’s doing the perfect job”.
“I’m just grateful I get to drive in an era with so many great drivers like him,” he concluded.
Following the Korean race Hamilton likened Vettel’s success to Michael Schumacher’s domination of the early 2000s. “I remember watching when Michael Schumacher was winning,” he said. “I remember watching the start, going to sleep, then waking up when it ended because I already knew what would happen.”
Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso enjoyed his first outing with United Autosports, with whom he will contest the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in their Ligier JS P217 LMP2 chassis.
The McLaren Formula 1 driver completed the test at Motorland Aragon in Spain alongside co-driver Phil Hanson, who will be a teammate with Alonso at next year’s 24-hour Daytona enduro. Filipe Albuquerque, a former GT class winner at the Rolex 24, was also on hand to help Alonso and the team ahead of Alonso’s first run in an LMP2 car, which comes only a couple days after he made his LMP1 testing debut with Toyota. Albuquerque races with Mustang Sampling Racing in IMSA, but will return to United’s European Le Mans Series program for all but one race in 2018.
“I had a great first test with United Autosports. Obviously, we are on a really tight schedule between now and Daytona, but it was nice to jump in the car for the first time,” said Alonso, who will rejoin the team at the official Roar Before the 24 test on January 5-7.
Alonso added, “There’s quite a few switches and things to study so it was important to do this initial shakedown before Daytona, so I could fully learn about the car. I’m happy with everything – the car felt great and the team were fantastic. The atmosphere here is wonderful, like a big family, so today has been amazing. I cannot wait for Daytona.”
Team owner Zak Brown, who also serves as executive director of McLaren Technology Group and helps lead the McLaren Formula 1 effort, shared Alonso’s enthusiasm and was not surprised he was able to acclimate himself relatively quickly.
“Fernando’s first test with United Autosports went awesome as expected. He is a world champion and it is a pleasure to have him in our car,” he said of Alonso’s debut with the team.
Alonso is currently schedule to contest the Rolex 24 with the aforementioned Hanson and McLaren test driver Lando Norris.