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Hamilton suggests Alonso for Gasly's seat

NEWS STORY
05/08/2019

The post-race press conference had a definite 'end of term' feel about it, though that didn't prevent Messrs Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel having a few well aimed jibes, including the Briton suggesting Fernando Alonso for the second seat at Red Bull.

In the moments after the race, the Spaniard took to social media to praise the two combatants.

"Bravo @LewisHamilton and @Max33Verstappen!!" he tweeted. "Pushing 70 laps to the maximum, more than one minute to the third (car) and nearly one lap and a half to the top five. Both impressive, thanks for the show!"

"That's really awesome that he's supportive," said Hamilton, when told of the tweet. "I was just actually watching some of the restarts, the starts of previous years and watching him from his Renault days and I remember just before I even got to Formula One watching how amazing their starts were.

"I don't know how old Fernando is now but he's always going to be a great driver," he added. "If he can get a good seat, he's always welcome here to battle with us. It doesn't make a difference, really, necessarily for me. I'm here to fight whoever's here."

"It was a bit of a shame that I never had an opportunity to fight against him in F1 so yeah…" added Verstappen.

"Could be a good team-mate for you," suggested Hamilton.

"Fernando? Well, you have experience with it, I don't know," smiled the Dutchman.

Asked if he would like to see the Spaniard back in F1, Vettel said: "I don't mind.

"I don't know why…," he continued, "I don't think he never really liked me. I don't think we really had a… I don't mind him. I respect him for what he achieved and for what he can do on track.

"I don't know. I guess he's bored if he has time to write these things. So bring him back, I don't mind."

"Maybe as a social media manager," said Verstappen. "To me, he's always been very nice and good. I like that he is also now looking into other opportunities for racing. He just loves racing and he wants to win, he wants to be competitive. It's good to see.

"The sport needs the best drivers in the best seats," said Hamilton, "and there is still at least a seat available that's good enough for winning and he's good enough for winning so it wouldn't be such a bad…

"Maybe he could speak to Toto," suggested Verstappen.

"Valtteri's great; Valtteri's been winning," Hamilton responded. "You're the one with the extra seat, I would say."

When asked to rate the first half of their seasons on a scale of one to ten, Vettel replied: "Five, not happy with the first half. I think I struggled here and there to really get on top of the car. I think we've been trying a lot of things so fair enough. Obviously we wanted to squeeze out more so you're always looking for more but I feel I can do a better job in the second half. And five is my number, so take five.

"That's the first half of the season, yeah? I'd say like 8.9, 8.8," said Hamilton.

"Go ten, man. Go for it, who cares? joked Vettel.

"If it wasn't for the last one, the last race, it would be a little bit higher," admitted Hamilton. "I think the good thing is always to score yourself a little bit lower so you've more to work on.

"For sure, it's been the best start of the season that I think we've ever had as a team and I think it's one of the best seasons that I've had personally to start off, but there are areas that we can continue to work on.

"That's the great thing about this sport, you know, no matter how many years and days you race there are always areas you can improve on. So let's see if we can try and up that into the nines or try to get to the tens in the second half of the season.

"I don't rate myself in numbers," snapped Verstappen.

"What do you do instead? Letters?" joked Vettel.

"No, I hate putting a number on it because it reminds me of school as well, which is not that long ago," said Verstappen. "I'm always quite critical and I think it always can be better. I'll never be satisfied. I think it's been very positive and I've had good results but there are always things to work on."

Pushed by Vettel and Hamilton for a number, any number, the Dutch youngster sighed: "I don't know, I think it's… First of all, I cannot rate myself like that."

Why not, you've done a good job man?" said Hamilton.

"I know," said the Red Bull driver, but… I don't know. I find it a bit weird to say an eight or…"

Asked how he would rate his rival, Hamilton replied: "I don't remember all the races that you've done other than the last three or four. You could say he's in the high nines over the last few races but I can't remember how it went before."

"I've had a lot of fourths," said Verstappen, "P3 and then three times fourth. P5, P3… too many P3, P4."

"It's easier to rate yourself because you often remember how many mistakes you've made," said Hamilton, "when you've done good, when you've kind of been under par and he'll know whether he's been on par or below par.

"I think today he drove exceptionally as he has particularly in the past three or four races so if that continues he's going to continue to operate in the high nines towards tens."

"Nobody's perfect. No, it's never perfect…" said Verstappen.

"It's like an impossible number to get," agreed the world champion.

"9.9?" asked Verstappen.

"It's a hard one to get to," smiled Hamilton.

Check out our Sunday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Spartacus, 07/08/2019 17:10

"Redbull at this point needs to "wake up" and drop in a replacement for Gasly. Especially since they had their butts handed to them at the Hungaroring due to VER's race director's brain fart! I am not sure if Sebastian Buemi their reserve driver would be the best choice, perhaps for one race, but I think Redbull should bring in Alonso or Ocon. Next year is a different story, where BOT would be a better option or perhaps Alonso. However Honda doesn't want Alonso because of his bad mouthing, and I agree with their reasoning. Go Honda!!"

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2. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 07/08/2019 15:25

"Alonso is big with the fans and racing for Red Bull would be great for the brand. Verstappen's fan appeal is not that great beyond NL. He comes off too young and that limits some promotion and brand ambassador for their sponsors like Aston Martin. Alonso fits in better."

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3. Posted by Rock Doc, 07/08/2019 3:17

"Max and Red Bull have been doing an excellent job recently. I think Hamilton realizes that and wants Alonso to break the team for him as only Alonso seems to be able to do :)

Great job by the Mclarens last race."

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4. Posted by NS Biker, 06/08/2019 20:49

"While there are may reasons to NOT DO IT, just imagine the volume (and value) of Fizzy Drinks that they could sell if Alonso jumped into the second car for the rest of the season. WOW.!!
Now that would be exciting. Not productive in the long term, but it would light-up the internet for sure."

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