Lewis Hamilton was already widely considered one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers in history before winning his fourth world title last weekend.
The 32-year-old could afford to place as low as ninth even his closest rival Sebastian Vettel claimed a fifth victory of the season at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton pulled off the bare minimum to wrap up a Mercedes double for 2017, clinching both the driver and constructor titles by a comfortable margin with two races to spare.
Despite being locked in a fierce battle with Vettel for much of the campaign, the Brit has been widely accepted as the most deserving champion.
His impressive dominance on the track has drawn extensive praise from his peers, whereas the Ferrari driver has regularly come under fire for his controversial behaviour on the track.
Hamilton, on the other hand, has racked up nine wins in addition to three podium finishes compared to Vettel’s four and six, with two more up for grabs in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
But while the Mercedes star could little more to stake his claim as the best driver on the planet, one man holds his achievements in particularly high regard.
Fernando Alonso believes Hamilton leads the pack because of his ability to deliver regardless of how his car stacks up against the competition.
“Lewis is one of the champions who has been able to win with a dominant car, like the last three years, with a good car, like in 2010 or 2012, and with bad cars like 2009 or 2011. Not all the champions can say that,” he said, per crash.net.
The Spaniard – who currently sits 16th in the driver standings for McLaren Honda – also cited his performances in the lower classes as a catalyst for his success.
“He was able to win in the junior categories before moving into F1.
“He already had trophies and championships in his pocket coming and arrived in F1 in every single season performing very competitively apart from one or two with Jenson when he had some issues there.”
While Hamilton reportedly expects Mercedes to offer him a new deal in the next month, the end of the season is set to spark a domino effect of driver changes throughout the F1.
The German team have no real cause to overhaul their lineup, but only time will tell how they will shape up in 2018.