Fernando Alonso has told Lewis Hamilton that he could have won the world championship last year if he had paid more attention to Nico Rosberg's data during race weekends.
The Spaniard, who was talking to reporters at the launch of McLaren's 2017 challenger, was referring to the Mercedes driver's comments about teammates sharing data with each other. Hamilton believes the data accumulated by each driver during the race weekend should be kept private and not shared to garner an advantage during qualifying or the race.
Formula One teams generally run different setups in both the cars during the free practice sessions and gather data to find the ideal setup for both cars for the race. And Alonso believes Mercedes are among the teams that rely heavily on the data to help the drivers find the optimum setup for the race, which has aided them in becoming the dominant force in F1 at the moment.
"I don't think that is an idea, it was just a thought that has a big repercussion because he's said many times that he was learning from the data," Alonso said when asked about Hamilton's comments, as quoted by ESPN.
"Mercedes also is one of the teams using more of the data, more with the engineers, to help the drivers. So for this I think it is a little bit strange to hear from him.
"If he was watching more data from Rosberg last year, maybe he would have won the championship," the two-time F1 world champion added.
Meanwhile, Alonso, who is out of contract at the end of 2017, has revealed that he will not make a decision about his future until after the mid-season break in September. McLaren are keen to tie him down to a new deal with Mercedes waiting in the wings to pounce if he does not agree a new deal.
The 35-year-old confirmed that Mercedes had approached him about replacing Rosberg, but he was keen to honour the contract with the Woking-based team. However, if McLaren continue to disappoint on the performance front in 2017 after spending the last two seasons on the wrong end of the grid, the Spaniard could look to other teams to fulfill his ambitions of adding to his two world titles.
"After the summer break, around September, is a good time to start thinking and sitting with yourself and deciding what to do," Alonso said, as quoted by the BBC. "Until then, I will not think too much about the future."
"Obviously, I want to be world champion. That is what I am training for, why I was running and biking at -10C in the middle of the snow in the last month."