McLaren’s Fernando Alonso says he wants to give Lewis Hamilton a “harder time” in Formula 1 next year, saying the Briton had it “too easy” in his charge to a fourth world championship in 2017.
Hamilton clinched his fourth drivers’ crown in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix by finishing ninth, having enjoyed a late battle with former teammate Alonso as he fought back from an early clash.
Alonso has not been able to battle with Hamilton very often in the last three years amid struggles for McLaren with its Honda power units, but the Spaniard showed few signs of backing down in their fight.
When asked by NBCSN after the race if the late battle with Hamilton was fun, Alonso said: “Not so much when you have different cars with different speed on straights!
“The car felt good balance all weekend and in the race. But we don’t have straight-line speed. Spent behind the Sauber, then [Kevin] Magnussen, then Hamilton. We tried to brake a bit later. It wasn’t possible.
“Starting last, finishing in the points, was fun… let’s see you in Brazil.”
By finishing P10, Alonso recorded his first points finish since the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of July, having claimed for much of the Mexico weekend that McLaren had the strongest car in the field, only for its power unit to hold it back.
Alonso took heart from his display, and is hopeful of being able to fight with Hamilton on a more regular basis when McLaren switches to Renault power units for 2018.
“I think [Hamilton] knows. He knows how strong the McLaren is in the corners,” Alonso said.
“Next year hopefully we can give a harder time to him. This year was too easy.
“Hopefully McLaren-Renault can give him a battle next year.”