Double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso has brushed off suggestions that he is a self-centred driver and says it is better to “look at the facts”.

Alonso famously fell out with then-rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton during their first year together as teammates at McLaren in 2007, before increased fractions within the team led to him quitting for a return to Renault. 

There were further tensions for the Spaniard later on in his career at Ferrari and McLaren, with his return to Woking proving frustrating amid its failed Honda engine partnership.

“I think the reputation is always one thing and the facts are another,” Alonso told media at last week’s FIA prize giving gala in Paris.

“When you see crashing teammates and things like that, as we saw this year and every year.

“Then if you see my images from this year and the slipstream [I gave my teammate] at Monza and the slipstream at Spa and all these collaborations, so if we talk about reputation it’s better if we look at the facts.”

Alonso cited his strong relationship with Toyota LMP1 teammates Sebastien Buemi and Kuzuki Nakajima during their title and double Le Mans-winning World Endurance Championship campaign as proof that he can work together with other drivers for the benefit of the team.

“It was not a problem sharing the team with these two guys because obviously they have the experience in endurance and they teach me a lot from the first day of testing,” he explained.

“They knew about the car, they knew about the circuit and they knew about the approach on long-distance races. So I was the one always making the mistakes, or making the questions.

“It’s not that I was happy jumping out of the car because I always want to drive, but every time I was jumping out of the car and they were going in, it was like less stress for me because I knew they were doing the right things.

“So there was a lot of trust between us.”

 

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