Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen reflect on potential Fernando Alonso return

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen would welcome two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso with open arms should the Spaniard make a shock return to the grid.

However, both drivers expressed concern should the 38-year-old supersede a promising rookie and Verstappen even went as far as to say a comeback could be a “waste of time.”

Alonso confirmed this week he is contemplating a return to F1 in 2021, although the Spaniard has been urged to only come back if he can secure a competitive drive.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest divers this millennium, Alonso left F1 last year to pursue alternative racing opportunities, but since then has frequently insisted he has not retired or closed the door on the sport that gave him consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006.

The Asturias-born enigma spent 17 years racing in F1 full-time, racking up 32 wins, 97 podiums and 22 poles which included a tense inter-team rivalry with Hamilton at McLaren.

Yet the two superstars now seem to have an amicable relationship, and Hamilton has stated he would like to see the 38-year-old back in the sport.

“I’d be just happy that I won’t be the oldest here,” said Hamilton per F1.com.

“So, I’d welcome an older dude, he can come along. Fernando’s obviously a well-accomplished driver. It’s interesting to see in the past, obviously, with drivers wanting to come back, like Michael [Schumacher].

“I haven’t spoken to Fernando so I don’t know how he’s been feeling or how much he’s missed it, but I don’t think it would be bad for the sport.”

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As for Verstappen, who only crossed paths with Alonso when the Spaniard was driving for McLaren-Honda from 2016-2018, he wouldn’t want the veteran to return to a struggling outfit.

“It would be good to see him…if he could comeback, but only in a competitive car, otherwise I think it’s just a waste of time for him,” said Verstappen.

“But I think he knows that himself, so…”

For now, Alonso has his hands full as he prepares for the 2020 Dakar Rally with Toyota and Indianapolis 500 with McLaren, but he’s clearly as eager as any man in the field to drive the next-generation F1 car when it lands in 2021.

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