Alonso never won the titles his ability deserved - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton believes Fernando Alonso never won the titles he deserved, despite being one of the greatest drivers he has faced.

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton   -  Getty Images

Fernando Alonso's talent ought to have seen him claim more Formula One world titles, according to one-time teammate and long-term rival Lewis Hamilton.

The Spaniard is set to leave F1 at the end of the season, although it has not yet been confirmed as to where he will head.

The pair were together at McLaren for the 2007 campaign, Hamilton's first, which came after Alonso had won back-to-back championships.

READ: Hamilton hails Indy-bound Alonso

Hamilton has since gone on to claim five drivers' crowns, and suggested his former colleague would have added to his tally had he not become embroiled in the politics of the sport.

"Naturally, I don't hold sadness [for Alonso leaving]. There's no reason for me to hold sadness for it," said Hamilton, ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix as the paddock return following the mid-season break.

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

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"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. [Alonso] 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."