They have perhaps unexpectedly battled wheel-to-wheel at least a couple of times in the three grands prix of 2023 already, each coming out on top once.
Hamilton, 38, and Alonso, 41, were teammates at McLaren – it seems like an entire generation ago – and will resume their battle at this weekend’s F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
“From afar, the talent hasn’t left him,” Hamilton said.
“I don’t believe it does leave us. It’s also his work ethic and talent.
“He’s an amazing driver. We don’t put less work in now, than when we were younger.
“There is more information out there to stay fit and healthy – you see it in the greats, like LeBron James and Tom Brady.
“There is more focus than ever from an athlete’s perspective on how to get everything out of mind and body.
“I’m still as hungry as ever – clearly, Fernando is too.”
Alonso said about his battles with Hamilton: “It is a very good thing. He’s a legend of our sport.
“We saw in Australia. I think we spent the whole race within two seconds of distance, playing with the distance a little bit. He has no weak point, he makes no mistakes.
“He’s a very tough competitor. To beat him, you need something special. So this is the type of guy that you want to challenge.”
Alonso overtook Hamilton on his Aston Martin debut at the Bahrain season-opener earlier this year en route to claiming a podium finish.
Mercedes’ Hamilton returned the favour, passing his old foe in Melbourne.
Their rollercoaster history dates back to Hamilton’s first season in F1, when he joined Alonso at McLaren.
They each finished on 109 points with four grands prix wins each.
Last year, with Alonso at Alpine, they had one of their occasional falling-outs when the Spaniard called Hamilton “an idiot” when they clashed in Belgium.
The spat was ended when Hamilton sent his rival an autographed Mercedes cap.