Alonso observes that Hamilton’s weaknesses are becoming apparent.

Lewis Hamilton “has flaws,” according to Fernando Alonso, and they are becoming apparent as Mercedes struggles to compete at the front of the field in 2023.

As Hamilton is experiencing the longest winless streak of his career, Alonso has placed third in both of the first races, behind the two Red Bulls.

Seven-time world champion started out as Alonso’s teammate at McLaren, and after passing the Spaniard on his very first start, they developed a fierce rivalry.

The rivalry between the two had been thawing in recent years, but it resurfaced last year following a crash at the Belgium Grand Prix when Alonso dubbed Hamilton “an idiot” before later apologizing.

Now that Mercedes’ machinery is no longer the finest on the grid, 41-year-old Alonso has been pointing out how his fellow grid veteran has been having trouble. Russell, the sole Silver Arrows driver to win last year, has already out qualified Hamilton twice this season.

“With a normal car you can see that he has weaknesses,” said Alonso. “Before, he was out alone ahead or sometimes with his team-mate. But look, he holds the record for poles and George is beating him 2-0 in qualifying this season.

“He hasn’t suddenly forgotten how to drive. It just goes to show how much the car is still a key factor in the performance. To win titles, you need the kind of dominant cars that Lewis has had.”

Despite the Spaniard’s impressive start to the season, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez of the Red Bulls had proven unbeatable, winning the first several races. Alonso thinks Hamilton exaggerated when he said the Red Bull car is “the fastest he’s ever seen.”

“I don’t agree at all,” said the Asturias native, in a tell-all interview with L’Equipe. “Last week I finished 20 seconds behind Checo (Sergio Perez) and Max (Verstappen). He and Rosberg were a minute behind the rest of the field in 2014 and 2015.

“And on top of that, after slamming two or three fast laps, they would protect their engine and drop the performance.

“He has a short memory, he’s getting old.”