Interesting article this. I have to agree with Lewis. As a viewer with sport you always have your protagonists and antagonist. Lewis is my protagonist and i know for him to be considered the best driver on the grid it is Alonso he has to beat, making him my ultimate antagonist, even if that battle isn't being played out at the very top of the championship right now.From Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/mar/28/lewis-hamilton-ayrton-senna-alain-prost
Lewis Hamilton sees fight with Fernando Alonso as new 'Senna v Prost'
Lewis Hamilton, the McLaren driver, believes his Formula One 'nemesis' this season will be clad in the red of Ferrari. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images Sebastian Vettel may be the man most likely to thwart Lewis Hamilton's hopes of a second world championship this season, but as the McLaren driver arrived in the tropical metropolis of Kuala Lumpur it was not the German on his mind but the man he describes as his "nemesis", Fernando Alonso.
"I will always think that my nemesis and my closest rival will always be Fernando," said an unusually reflective Hamilton. "Just because of my history, when I started out. I see him as my Prost, if we were [Alain] Prost and [Aryton] Senna. If you were to say 'choose a driver' [that I would like to be] I would clearly choose Ayrton. And maybe I would put him as Prost."
The rivalry between Senna and Prost, which is brilliantly captured in the new film, Senna, was one of the most bitter in all sport. The difficult relationship between Hamilton and Alonso in 2007, when the Spaniard was unsettled and ultimately driven from McLaren by Hamilton's rookie brilliance, had its moments, too. Hamilton, probably, has never received proper credit for his performances that season, when he missed the championship by a single point.But is not Vettel his true nemesis now? "I don't think so. If he continues to have a car like he does now then, maybe, but I think when we get equal pace then we will see some serious racing. Maybe he [Vettel] is the new Mansell? Not that I would rate him like I do Mansell." Ouch.
The little dig at Vettel might be a little harsh, but i kind of think it is a valid one. I don't dislike Vettel much, but i resent him a little for winning last years championship, seemingly by default. He is getting all this praise at the moment, but any driver on the grid would have had a shot at the World title in that car. This said, i don't think Seb is a bad driver. Probably 3rd or 4th depending on how you rate Kubica, but i would say the gap from Alonso and Hamilton is far more vast than people like to say.
I'd also like to add that i didn't think Hamilton ever got the praise he deserved for his rookie season either. He did at the time while he looked like winning the world championship, but i would argue that it was the most impressive season i've ever seen, considering he was beating the best driver on the grid, in the same equipment, in his first season. It is typical media analysis, only looking at the result, rather than realising that it is more than individual performance that decides a World Championship.