F1 legend says Alonso is “on best behaviour” after he “lost a lot of friends"

1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill has claimed Fernando Alonso “lost a lot of friends” during his acrimonious second spell with McLaren between 2015 and 2017.
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Mart
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Mart

Alonso rejoined McLaren in 2015 as they teamed up with Japanese manufacturer Honda - renewing the iconic partnership from the 1980s.

It proved to be a complete disaster, with McLaren and Honda separating at the end of 2017.

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Alonso left the team a year later, but his relationship with Honda particularly took a beating.

During the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix - Honda’s home race - Alonso famously said: "It feels like GP2. Embarrassing. Very embarrassing.” 

Hill believes Alonso’s comments affected his relationship with a number of teams, but now at Aston Martin in F1 2023, “he’s on his best behaviour”. 

“He overplayed his hand at McLaren, and then he did something similar at Ferrari,” Hill told the F1 Nation podcast.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team in the post race FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team in the post race FIA Press…

“He insulted Honda because he called it a GP2 engine, he lost a lot of friends. I think he's had an epiphany. 

“A bit of a turnaround, he's come back and gone 'Listen, okay, I get it now I've upset people. It's hurt my career, I've only got two world championships when I should have four or five'.

“He's on his best behaviour,” he added. “Or maybe he's a changed man. I like to think it's the latter, I think he has changed, matured and became a massive asset to the sport.”

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