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Alonso offers Hamilton respect ahead of 300th race

Alonso offers Hamilton respect ahead of 300th race

Alonso offers Hamilton respect ahead of 300th race

Alonso offers Hamilton respect ahead of 300th race

Fernando Alonso has heaped praise on former adversary Lewis Hamilton, labelling the seven-time F1 champion a "legend of our sport" on the occasion of his 300th grand prix.

The relationship between the two drivers began in highly controversial fashion when the pair were team-mates at McLaren in 2007.

Then two-time champion Alonso endured one fractious season alongside Hamilton before leaving and after both had missed out on the title by a single point to Kimi Raikkonen.

At this weekend's French Grand Prix, Hamilton will become the sixth driver to reach the milestone of 300 F1 starts, joining Alonso, Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.

Asked how Hamilton has evolved since his F1 debut, Alonso assessed: "I don't think that he has changed much, to be honest.

"He had the talent already in 2007 and he still has the talent now with the experience and he has been a tremendous driver.

"He is a legend of our sport. It has been a pleasure always to share this time with him.

"Back then probably no one thought that someone would be able to win seven titles as Michael [Schumacher] had."

Hamilton is yet to win this season. If he does so, he will become the first driver to take the chequered flag after joining the '300 club' as none of his predecessors achieved the feat.

Alonso added: "The journey has been amazing and the team that they have built with Mercedes, it is outstanding.

"Just congratulations for the 300 and hopefully another win soon."

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