Alonso: 'Difficult to imagine' Hamilton would match Schumacher despite talent

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Fernando Alonso admits Lewis Hamilton's achievements in Formula 1 would have been "difficult to imagine" despite his clear talent back in 2007.

The Spaniard would find out first hand the potential of the Briton during their infamous season together at McLaren which saw relationships break down and Alonso ultimately depart.

And now, six championships, 84 wins and 88 poles later, Hamilton finds himself on the brink of matching the man most consider the greatest of all time. 

“I think we all saw the talent in 2007 but it was difficult to imagine he would reach the numbers that Michael Schumacher had at that time, and to have such domination,” Alonso told Sky Sports in Abu Dhabi

“He’s done an amazing job, Mercedes, as well.”

In the interview with the British broadcaster, the two-time world champion was also asked about the performance of Carlos Sainz, the man who took over as Spain's torchbearer on the grid after Alonso retired after 2018.

This season, having taken his seat at McLaren, the second generation driver has shined, finishing sixth in the Drivers' standings ahead of Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon, both of whom drove for Red Bull for decent periods of the year.

“Carlos did an amazing season, no mistakes,” Fernando said. “Very fast in qualifying. Delivering on Sundays. Lando [Norris] as well, in his rookie year.”

Of course, it wouldn't be an Alonso article without talk of a possible F1 comeback and the 38-year-old again didn't rule out the possibility of returning in 2021.

“I'm doing Dakar in January which is obviously quite a big challenge. Next year, Indy [500] is in the plan again, try to do a bit better than this year,” he revealed.

“Keep it open in the future, maybe Formula 1 in 2021, maybe Hypercar in WEC.

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“I think in 2021 that's the reason why I keep possibilities open because of the new rules, so we'll see what opportunities come up.

“I've been quite busy, I'm racing a lot. I didn't miss F1 much because I kept myself busy," he added.

“It's a different kind of life (being away from F1). Formula 1 is very demanding. You leave for F1 for breakfast, dinner, to nighttime. Away from, F1 you're more relaxed and enjoying life.”