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Alonso's nostalgia for Hamilton dual

Fernando Alonso has gone all misty-eyed when speaking of the epic struggle for supremacy he enjoyed with Mclaren's Lewis Hamilton back in 2007.

The scrap was always billed as one that left scars, but Ferrari's Alosno insists that his beef was with Ron Dennis's Mclaren team – not Lewis Hamilton personally.

'If we were teammates at another team it would be a much cleaner struggle, and a real one,' said Alonso, whose battle with Hamilton eventually lef to the pair finishing the season equal and Kimi Raikkonen sneaking up from behind to win the title.

Alonso explained to Spanish sports newspaper Marca: 'You always learn lessons in tough times.

'That year was good overall, both Lewis and I learned many things. When you share a team with a top driver you learn to grow together.

'You improve in terms of preparing for a race and even from his driving style, because you share telemetry, so it was a great experience,' added ex-champion Alonso.

Alonso admits that catching Sebastian Vettel is nigh-on impossible for this term, but is much more confident about his team's chances for 2012.

'Of course we can catch them (Red Bull),' Alonso said. 'The rules have changed, the blown diffusers will be forbidden, so the philosophy in the development and in the wind tunnel has to change.'

Following Ferrari's recent structural changes, the Spaniard claims to have noticed a difference in the team.

'I have noticed more desire and general optimism, more speed in decision-making, more courage in the development. Yes, we have improved the structure and how we work.'

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