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The 'freakish nature' of Alonso and Hamilton that keeps them competitive

What is it that makes Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton competitive, despite going past what is considered the 'peak' age of a Formula 1 driver?

There was a period in Formula 1 where drivers struggled to remain competitive beyond their mid-30s, but Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have continued to show that it is possible past that peak and into your 40s. While this could be put down to some aspects such as F1 cars getting aids including power steering, and that the races are less about putting in qualifying laps in between refuelling stints, driving the perfect lap has now become more precise than ever. Aston Martin Performance Director Tom McCullough puts it down to Alonso's mentality and self critical nature that enables him to keep up with the rest of the grid. "I still think they're pretty tough to drive, Singapore for a couple of hours for example. I think Fernando's really hungry. He's working and training really hard," said McCullough. "When we met him at the back end of last year, we obviously worked with him in Abu Dhabi and he's so self-critical and so wants to push himself to another level and over the winter has just worked even harder. "I think maybe as you get older, do you need to work harder than a 20-year-old? Maybe you do. But he's so motivated, so up for the challenge, and seems to be doing okay at the moment."

Allison: Hamilton 'slightly freakish in nature'

Mercedes Technical Director James Allison believes there is a "slightly freakish nature" about Hamilton – who is now 38 – which enables him to continue to be competitive and raise his level each season. The seven-time F1 champion has shown no signs of wanting to stop, despite being uncompetitive for regular wins in 2022 and that continuing into 2023. "The main thing I put it down to isn't the sport or the way the sport has gone, but just the slightly freakish nature of the gifts that Lewis was handed," Allison said. "He is dedicated in the way that Tom described Fernando being, self-critical in the way that Tom described Fernando being, and still able to pedal the car like a young man. So I think that's more to do with the two end visuals than it is to do with the sport."

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