Lewis Hamilton says there is no reason for him to hold any sadness over former teammate Fernando Alonso’s decision to quit Formula 1 for 2019, but feels it is a shame the Spaniard will depart without more accolades to his name.

Alonso announced earlier this month he would be quitting F1 for 2019 in order to pursue other challenges in motorsport, and confirmed on Thursday he was treating the current season as his last in the sport despite the possibility for a return in the future.

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Hamilton raced alongside Alonso during his rookie F1 season in 2007, with the pair descending into a bitter rivalry as they duelled for the drivers’ championship, only for both to lose out to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Asked for his views on Alonso’s decision, Hamilton said there was no reason for him to be upset over it, and said that while he felt the current McLaren driver deserved more titles and accolades to his name, F1 was about more than just on-track ability.

“Naturally I don’t hold sadness for it. There’s no reason for me to hold sadness for it,” Hamilton said.

“For sure, in the racing world he will be missed, and within the racing the world he has been a really big part of it and is one of the greatest drivers that have ever been here.

“I would say it is a shame that he is not as decorated as his ability deserves, but sport is a very interesting machine and it’s not just about being a great driver. It is how you manoeuvre, how you play the game, it’s like a chess game and how you position yourself with all the different things that are also part of the package.

“He is one of the greatest drivers I have driven against and I wish him all the best. But 17 seasons is a lot, and I have huge respect for that because it is not easy for a driver to stay that long and perform.

“It’s a lot of commitment, a lot of time and a lot of dedication that people might not understand and appreciate. But naturally, as within any sport, I can appreciate it.”

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