Jul.6 (GMM) A year after they clashed as McLaren teammates, Fernando Alonso has played down the hype surrounding Lewis Hamilton's more difficult 2008 campaign.
The media portrayed Alonso, the 26-year-old former double world champion, as Hamilton's arch-enemy in 2007, but interestingly he does not jump on the bandwagon of harshly critiquing the Briton's performances a year on.Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, Alonso rejects the notion that Hamilton is making more mistakes this year."The second year is more difficult, but I don't think he has made more mistakes," he said."It's just that this is formula one. It is not an easy sport and sometimes you are a little bit unlucky and you lose a couple of points."Alonso does not even criticise Hamilton's pitlane gaffe of Montreal last month, when the 23-year-old hit Kimi Raikkonen as the Finn waited at a red light."With the lights in Canada, you brake one metre earlier and you don't crash, and you get some points. It is these small details and some unlucky moments that put you out of the points," Alonso explained.Hamilton agrees that the perception of him by other drivers has changed this year, but also that expectations in general have increased for his second season on the grid."It's getting more and more," he told F1 Racing magazine."The sponsors want more and more, the team wants more and more and I want more and more."He said he is still adapting to the incredible spotlight that began shining on him as Britain's most promising rookie last year."I still don't know how you deal with it to be honest," Hamilton said."I'm a normal person and I try to lead a normal life, so it's always a surprise. But what do you do? I think it just takes a while to get used to and I'm still not fully used to it."