Fernando Alonso continued to troll Lewis Hamilton for money, making everyone laugh

You know F1 is truly back in action when Fernando Alonso gets into some spicy banter!

Now, that his arch-rival Lewis Hamilton has stolen the limelight even before the 2024 season begins with his move to Ferrari, Alonso could not control but take a jibe at that in his style. At the Pre-season test in Bahrain, the Spaniard had a lighthearted exchange with Hamilton’s teammate George Russell.

Fernando Alonso Trolls Lewis Hamilton Over Money, Making Everybody Laugh

Credits: Imago | L: Fernando Alonso R: Lewis Hamilton

At one of the media sessions, Alonso talked about limited testing in F1 nowadays. His viewpoint stemmed from an analogy with football and tennis and how they test all the equipment before a Grand Slam or the World Cup. Comparatively, F1 has a big budget per team [$135M] and is one of the most sophisticated sports in the world.

According to an Instagram post by Sky Sports F1, while Alonso was justifying his views on the limited testing, the Aston Martin driver quoted the F1 teams’ budget as $200 million. Russell interrupted and corrected him, “Our budget is 135m”. To this, Alonso quick-wittedly replied, “Yeah but you have a very expensive driver alongside you, so it’s probably more than $200m for Mercedes!”

On this, everyone in the room had a hearty laugh as the #14 driver spicily trolled Hamilton’s high price tag. After his Ferrari deal was announced, there have been reports that his salary at the Italian team will be around $80M – $100M a year.

So adding that up, it makes mathematical sense how Alonso quoted Mercedes‘ budget to be $200M. Of course, it was all banter and the Brackley team is not getting any exemption to go over the budget cap! The reason is driver salaries are not part of the cap.

However, Alonso has been vocal on the testing aspect in 2024. The 42-year-old thinks it is not fair that they only get to test one car during pre-season testing. It also means that each driver gets only one and a half days of running over the 3-day test. About his jibe against Hamilton, that is something standard and a regular occurrence, owing to their rivalry.

Are Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton still not friends?

In a DAZN documentary – ‘Fernando. Revealed’, Fernando Alonso has spoken about how his relationship with Lewis Hamilton is currently. Ever since he tussled with the Briton in 2007 at McLaren, the duo has not been on the best of terms.

Alonso said, “Now there is another type of rivalry, I don’t think we will be friends in the future or that we will ever have.”

The Spaniard acknowledged that their rivalry intensified a lot during the 2007 season. Since then, it has soured their relations quite a bit. While both Hamilton and Alonso often speak of each other most respectfully, there is tension that still exists.

Alonso’s statement about not being friends refers to how Hamilton has gotten along with Sebastian Vettel after being rivals. Even for that matter, several drivers on the grid get along with each other as friends despite on-track tussles.

The root cause of their rivalry traces back to 2007 itself when tensions arose at McLaren amid several fiascos. On top of that, Alonso and Hamilton were stepping on each other’s toes in the championship battle. Alonso cited this as how personal agenda affected the unity of the team and in turn, derailed their campaign.

The 42-year-old has always criticized Ron Dennis’ management of the situation back then as the McLaren team boss. He feels the Briton could not control the friction in the team and things got out of hand between Hamilton and himself.

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