Fernando Alonso has offered his verdict on the debate surrounding Lewis Hamilton's performances in 2022, saying "it's Formula 1".
Mercedes driver Hamilton finds himself seventh in the World Championship standings after four races, having picked up just 28 points.
Following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, an event at which Hamilton qualified and finished outside the top 10 for the first time since the 2009 German Grand Prix, his team boss Toto Wolff took to the radio to apologise for the "undriveable car" Mercedes had supplied him with.
But in seemingly equal machinery, younger teammate George Russell has been praised for his fine performances, and is yet to finish a race outside the top five.
Alonso: Lewis is driving super well
In the eyes of Alonso, once a fierce rival of Hamilton, the car is just as to blame for his failures as it is his successes. And the Spaniard has offered his former McLaren teammate some praise.
"It's Formula 1. It has been like this always," quipped Alonso, speaking to members of the media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked for his verdict on Hamilton.
"When [Ayrton] Senna won the championships and the races, he had the fastest car. When I won the championship, I had the fastest car. Michael [Schumacher] had the fastest car. Lewis broke all the records and pole positions because he had the fastest car.
"Today, Lewis is driving super well and he's P13. It's Formula 1."
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Alonso says "there is no racing at the moment"
Despite a regulation change that has been widely praised for having improved the spectacle, there still remain two teams well ahead of the rest in terms of pace: Ferrari and Red Bull.
After four rounds, only two drivers have tasted victory (Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc), with a 78-point gap having already emerged between Ferrari and fourth-placed team McLaren.
"There is no race at the moment," said Alonso, when asked if he has enjoyed fighting with drivers and teams at the front this season.
"It is like fighting with Lewis last year, or Verstappen. They start last and they finished on the podium still, so there is not much to fight."
F1 Podcast: Are Red Bull now favourites and has Hamilton hit a new low?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Red Bull triumphed, Ferrari hit trouble and Mercedes struggled.