Fernando Alonso claims that neither Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen have built truly great Formula 1 teams, and their success is down to "timing."
Between them, Hamilton and Verstappen have won every world title since 2014, with the exception of Nico Rosberg in 2016, with Verstappen set for a third title in 2023 after his record-breaking 10 wins in a row.
Alonso's Aston Martin was the nearest challenger to Red Bull's RB19 and Verstappen in the early part of the season, but is now in a fight with Hamilton for third in the Drivers'.
Hamilton and Alonso were team-mates during the former's rookie 2007 season, but the latter believes the now septuple World Champion "created nothing" at Mercedes after McLaren for 2013.
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Alonso's Hamilton and Verstappen claim
"It is often said that some drivers build winning teams," Alonso told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"But when Lewis switched to Mercedes in 2013, he created nothing.
"He reaped the benefits of a rule change the following year, and in Max's case, when he switched from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, Hamilton continued to dominate.
"Max has not achieved a dominant Red Bull. In 2021, they were evenly matched [with Hamilton and Mercedes], but after the recent rule changes, Red Bull started winning races.
"I think it has more to do with the rules than a driver's input or driving style. Timing is everything."
Alonso also touched on Aston Martin's looming power unit deal with Honda for 2026 and the opportunities the regulation changes could bring, but insisted Red Bull needed to trip up.
"Red Bull must make mistakes and deviate from their current course," he said.
"We also have progress to make and will continue to do it over the winter, and I am optimistic about our future."
It should be pointed out that Hamilton was responsible for helping Mercedes prepare, and stay at the top of the field during his dominant run, while Verstappen took 10 wins on his way to the 2021 title, the year before the ground effect regulations were introduced.