Lewis Hamilton has reacted to his former rival Fernando Alonso questioning the value of some of his championships.
The Spaniard said in an interview with Netherlands’ Telegraaf this week that a championship has “less value when you only had to fight with your teammate”.
Hamilton then posted a picture on social media from 2007, when he and Alonso were teammates at McLaren, with him on top of a podium and Alonso second.
The seven-time champion displayed a thumbs-up symbol along with the photo.
Alonso had tried to reduce the impact of his comments with a post on Twitter on Saturday.
He wrote: “Please all the titles are amazing, well deserved and inspiring. Incomparable to each other and enjoy the champions and legends of our present time.
“Tired of the continuous search for headlines. Let’s enjoy it.”
Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007 and he and Alonso staged a close and at times bitter fight. Both ended up losing to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by a single point.
At the end of the season, Hamilton and Alonso were level on points and both had four wins, but Hamilton was declared top of the championship due to their second places.
Hamilton’s Twitter post was a response to social media backlash to Alonso’s interview, in which he compared his own two world titles in 2005 and 2006 with Max Verstappen’s this year and last, against the record of seven from Hamilton.
Alonso said: “This year Max is very dominant and at one point he was able to win the world title. Last season was different. I thought he finally overtook Lewis and I think he is a worthy champion.
“I also have a lot of respect for Lewis. Yet it’s different when you win seven world titles, when you only had to fight with your teammate.
“Then I think a championship is less valuable than if you have fewer titles but had to race against other riders with equal or even better equipment.
“In 2005 and 2006 I had a good start to the year and was able to create a lead. Then maybe others had a better car, but I was able to manage that gap.
“I never had to fight my teammate Giancarlo Fisichella to win the title. I also didn’t see Max fight Sergio Perez or Alex Albon to win races.
“But [Michael] Schumacher mainly battled with teammate Rubens Barrichello to become champion five times in a row and Hamilton with Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas. It’s different, I think.”
Alonso’s comments are a questionable take on some of the titles won by Schumacher and Hamilton.
Schumacher and Ferrari dominated in 2001, 2002 and 2004 and the German driver only had his team-mate to beat, but in 2003 he had a close fight with McLaren’s Raikkonen and Williams’ Juan Pablo Montoya.
And while it’s fair to say Mercedes was unbeatable from 2014-2016 and in 2019-20, in 2017 and 2018 the Ferrari was arguably the fastest car for the majority of both seasons.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel led the championship for much of those two years, only to have his title campaign plagued by driver and team errors, as well as reliability issues and the loss of the development war at the end of the year.