Hamilton currently leads the F1 World Drivers’ Championship by 14 points from Sebastian Vettel, although it is the German who will start on pole for today’s Canadian Grand Prix (7.10pm).
The Brit will be back in fourth and will have to fight his way past another future great in Max Verstappen as well as team-mate Valtteri Bottas if he wants to claim victory in Montreal.
But much further back in a misfiring McLaren, Fernando Alonso will start 14th – and the Spaniard has endured an extremely frustrating decade since winning two F1 world titles in 2005 and 2006.
And for Fittipaldi, who won two titles of his own in 1972 and 1974, Alonso remains the best all-round driver even though he does not necessarily have the titles to match some of his rivals.
“I love Lewis, he is an incredible talent,” Fittipaldi said.
“I’m one of his biggest fans. I think he is a fantastic driver but still today I feel, with all due respect because there are lots of very good drivers out there, that Fernando Alonso is still the most complete driver.
“I love Lewis, Vettel – they’re top but I still think Fernando is the best.”
Fittipaldi, 71, was today given the chance to drive a Formula E car and follow in the footsteps of his grandson Pietro, who completed a rookie test earlier this year.
And Fittipaldi Sr was impressed with the stability of the machinery and also suggested that the series would actually provided a fairer footing for the likes of Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso to prove their skills.
“I think the equipment balances the drivers and I think the drivers’ ability in Formula E is shown more than it is in Formula One,” Fittipaldi added.
“So I think [Formula E] is a really good option for drivers who have talent and who want to show their talent.
“I think it is very important for the young talent to be able to show their performance and their ability to drive fast and I think sometimes in Formula One it is difficult to have that parameter because you have very different teams and very different equipment.
“In Formula E due to the rules it is much more similar and I think with all the car manufacturers coming into Formula E it is going to become a huge technical challenge as well for them to find the best tech.”