Lewis Hamilton's success came from having the best car - and this season shows it, says Alonso

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso believes Lewis Hamilton's struggles this year shows that driver quality is starting to become secondary to having the best car.

Fernando Alonso hasn't had the greatest luck in his Formula One career, but the Spaniard can still boast two impressive world championships during his 20 years in the sport.

The 40-year-old currently drives for Alpine, and he has often found himself this season in the midfield battling former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, who has endured a frustrating start to the 2022 season at Mercedes.

After winning eight consecutive constructor titles with the Brackley-based team, Hamilton has had to put up with an underperforming W13 this season, and with only 36 points to his name after five races, his chances for a record eighth world championship already seem dead and buried.

After enduring similar frustrations over the last decade of his career, Alonso was able to compare Hamilton's struggles to his own.

"This is the nature of the sport," Alonso said. "Sometimes you have a better car, sometimes you have not such a good car and you still need to fight and make some progress.

"This year we see that the driver is very important in F1 but not crucial.

"Lewis is driving as good as he has been the last eight years. He was dominating the sport and breaking all the records and 100-and-something pole positions. And now he is doing a mega lap - as he said in Australia or somewhere like that - and he is one second behind. So, yeah - welcome."

While Mercedes were expected at the start of the season to fight for the championship, Ferrari and Red Bull so far look to be in a league of their own, and the two teams are separated in the standings by just six points.

Already 60 points adrift from the top, Mercedes have their work cut out for them if they are to defend their constructor crown.

The team are expected to bring upgrades to the upcoming Spanish GP that will supposedly address the ongoing issues with the car, such as the consistent porpoising. But whether or not it will lift Mercedes alongside their rivals is yet to be seen.

When asked about how important the car performance is to modern Formula One drivers, Alonso pointed out that while the driver receives a lot of the media attention, the sport remains reliant on teamwork.

"This is F1," said the Spaniard "It is not going to be a fair sport in terms of numbers. This is a team sport more than anything and we tend to forget this, especially when we have success. We are so happy for what we are achieving that even if we try to share with the team, all the headlines are for the driver.

"It happened to me when I won the two championships [in 2005 and 2006 with Renault]. I was beating Michael Schumacher. This was a big topic, but my car was more reliable at that time and had very good performance and you cannot praise enough that package because the headlines will still be the driver. And with Lewis it's the same.

"To have more than 100 pole positions in F1 is something unthinkable. You need to have the best car and package for many, many years.

"We were doing magic laps sometimes and we were P15, and how do you explain that to people? It will be impossible.

"He deserves everything he's achieved in the past but this year is a good reminder that in all those records and numbers there is a big part on what you have in your hands as a package in the car."

Alonso will now turn his attention towards his home Grand Prix, with Formula One returning to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend.

The race is scheduled to start at 14:00 BST on Sunday, May 22.

READ MORE: The five most impressive F1 drivers of the 2022 season so far

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