Fernando Alonso believes the strength of the Mercedes car allows Lewis Hamilton to have the lifestyle he has outside Formula 1.
Hamilton, looking to become a seven-time World Champion in 2020, is very much in the public spotlight away from the sport, but Alonso thinks his former team mate would not have that luxury if he did not have a car capable of winning World Championships.
Alonso’s opinion came when asked to compare Hamilton to Michael Schumacher as the Silver Arrows driver tries to match the same number of titles as the German.
Alonso told La Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview taking place in-between stages of his first attempt at the Dakar Rally: “Each have their own character. Both of them dominated because of their cars, which allowed them to do what they wanted outside of F1. Michael had more discipline and preparation. He was more into the team dynamics.
“Lewis has a different character and lifestyle that would not be right if he had a normal car. His bosses would not be happy.”
Alonso also revealed that he had offers to return to the F1 grid in 2020, but turned them down as the timing was not right for him.
Alonso added: “There were two or three situations with a few talks involving certain teams. We had contacts, but it was not the right time.”
It does appear, though, that Alonso is pining for a F1 return in 2021 and does miss some elements of the sport.
He said: “What I miss about F1 is the precision work with the engineers and the optimisation around the races. But not the travelling, the consecutive races and only one team dominating.”
Alonso will give serious thought to a potential F1 return after his third attempt at clinching the Triple Crown by winning the Indianapolis 500.
He added: “This year I do not want to schedule anything after Indianapolis, but to think properly for 2021. I’m not too old to return but I want to reflect on whether I want to return to F1 for some more years.”