Formula 1

Tony Kanaan hits back at Lewis Hamilton's Indy 500 comments

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Fernando Alonso made a big impact as an Indy 500 driver. He qualified fifth in his debut race and was very much in the running to win - until an engine failure forced him to retire. 

He has seen his stock rise and has gained a number of fans following a good performance in Indianapolis, despite not being on the pace in F1 in recent years.

He had not won a race since the Spanish Grand Prix in May 2013 and has struggled with McLaren since the 2015 season.

After taking a break from F1 and missing the Monaco race, one of the most glamorous on the calendar, Alonso will return to the grid for the Canadian Grand Prix on June 11. 

Ahead of his return, Lewis Hamilton has been having his say on the Indy 500 and Alonso himself.  

The Mercedes driver questioned the quality of drivers Alonso found himself up against in a recent interview with L’Equipe.

He said, as per Planet F1:   

"Fernando, in his first qualifying, came fifth. Does that say something about (the level) of IndyCar?"

"Great drivers, if they can’t succeed in Formula One, look for titles in other races, but to see him come fifth against drivers who do this all year around is… interesting."

It was quite the dig from Hamilton and one that was guaranteed to get a response. The first has come from former Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan.

The Brazilian won the IndyCar Series in 2004 and is one of the most established names in the sport. He has raced 236 times in a 15-year career, and he's not done yet.

He recently praised Alonso ahead of last Sunday's Indianapolis 500 race, telling the Spaniard: 

"You’re humble, not like your other fellow F1 drivers that made some comments this month."

He then went on to hit out at Hamilton. 

"The guy competed in a two-car World Championship last year and was second, so I don’t think he can say much."

It was a pretty damning response to the British driver, who's certainly in more than a two-car race this year. 

He is currently second in the Driver Standings with 104 points, 25 behind Sebastian Vettel. Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton's Mercedes teammate, is on 75 points in third.

With only six races complete, expect there to be a lot of change at the top between now and the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.   

After some strong words from Kanaan, Hamilton has a point to prove and he will be desperate to do so in Montreal in a few weeks time.  

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