Three-time Formula One champion and world’s fastest Instagram model Lewis Hamilton doesn’t have a high opinion of the Indianapolis 500 field, who F1 driver Fernando Alonso is competing against this weekend. Naturally, Hamilton opened his mouth to say just that.
Alonso skipped doing Monaco in his painfully bad McLaren to do the Indy 500 instead, where he qualified fifth for his rookie Indy 500 attempt.
Thus, Hamilton told French publication L’Equipe, as translated by Autoweek:
I looked at the times and, frankly, for his first ever qualifying for Fernando to be fifth — what does that say about Indy?
Hamilton continued, voicing support for Alonso’s Indy 500 run but still raising an eyebrow at what his fifth-place starting position might mean about the talent level of Alonso’s competition:
A great driver, if he cannot win in Formula 1, will look for other races to win. But to see him fifth against drivers who are there all year is... interesting.
Granted, what Alonso’s fifth-place qualifying result means is a question that even IndyCar’s insiders and most ardent fanboys have been asking. Some are even actively rooting for Alonso not to win. There’s even an Indianapolis Star column titled “Please, Anybody But Fernando Alonso Win Indy 500.”
What all of these hot takes on Alonso’s rookie IndyCar performance seem to forget is that we’re looking at an outlier. Alonso is widely considered one of the best drivers of our era, so of course he’ll be able to hold his own against IndyCar’s full-time field. We wouldn’t expect any different. After all, Alonso’s ability to adapt to new cars and wring performance out of less competitive rides is why we like the guy so much.
So, chill out, everyone. At least hold those steamin’ hot takes for after the race. Besides, there are still four full-time IndyCar drivers who were faster than Fernando in qualifying. What does that mean about them?