Alonso: Lack of pressure from rivals hiding Hamilton's weaknesses

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Fernando Alonso has claimed a lack of pressure from rivals is hiding Lewis Hamilton's weaknesses.

The Briton has largely strolled to the last three world championships since losing out to Nico Rosberg during their tense rivalry at Mercedes in 2016.

A key reason for that has been consistency as his nearest competition has always stumbled at key moments, allowing Hamilton to rack up a sequence of wins and results that create insurmountable leads.

But while Alonso recognises the level that Lewis is performing at currently, the two-time world champion still doesn't see him as bulletproof.

“He’s made a step forward,” Alonso told F1 Racing magazine. “He is more competitive, more prepared.

“He still has some weak points that have not been stressed yet. No-one is pressing that button, that weakness.

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“It would be nice to compete against him in a proper fight. Maybe his weak points are not real and everything is calculated but it would be nice to discover.

“When you have a good package and the other guys crash and you extend your championship lead, everything seems calm.

“If you are only one point behind or 10 points behind, the stress is different. The mistakes are different and your radio communications are different. We need to see him when the pressure is on.”

When Hamilton didn't have it all his own way last year results were mixed, his two wins fighting Max Verstappen in Monaco and Hungary were superb but then he also tasted defeat to the Dutchman in Brazil and also to Charles Leclerc at Spa and Monza.

Something that even Alonso won't deny, however, is the six-time champion doesn't simply give up.

“He’s raised the level the last couple of years, especially in 2019 when the car has not been as dominant as other seasons,” the Spaniard claimed.

“If he cannot win, he’s a very close second. Not 20 seconds further back, which is what happens a little bit with Valtteri.

“A weekend when the car is not as competitive, Bottas is fifth or sixth or a minute behind, but Lewis is not.

“If you study Lewis’ season, there is always a common trend. He starts the year slowly and no-one takes the benefit of that.

“We all get excited that it will be the year of Bottas, but it’s not.”