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Having failed to pass his teammate on lap 38, next time he came past the pits World Champion Fernando Alonso pulled right across the track in a gesture similar to that of race winners saltuting their crew. However, in this case the race was just over halfway through, and the Spaniard wasn't leading. Though he was faster at this stage in the race, Hamilton had just slammed the door well and truly shut.
Asked about the move after the race, the Spaniard said: "I followed the other car for so many laps my overalls and everything were so black because the carbon brakes were coming into me every braking point. I think my brakes were hotter, all my car was hotter than normal, so I tried to pull away from the slipstream sometimes just to cool the car."
Fair enough, other than for the minor fact that he didn't refer to Lewis by name, merely saying "the other car". Then there's the fact that the Spaniard was still wearing his dirty carbon fibre coated overalls to the press conference, a definite no-no in the eyes of team boss Ron Dennis.
While the rest of us wondered if the swerve was a deliberate message to his team, McLaren managing director Martin Whitmarsh admitted that he too thought it was a sign of frustration, though aimed at Hamilton as opposed to his bosses on the pit-wall.
Asked if the manoeuvre was a message, Whitmarsh said: "Yes, he was sending it to Lewis. Drivers do that from time to time".
"At various points in the race it was clear that Fernando was a little bit quicker," he continued, "but Lewis did a fantastic job in qualifying, he made a great start and robustly defended his position couple of times at turn one. I'm sure any driver would like to, if they were in a position where they felt they are driving a quicker car at the time, be given rite of passage to the front.
"We were running absolutely fair programmes for both drivers," he added.
Prior to the race Ron Dennis had said once again that there were no team orders, that he wanted his drivers to race. "I really don't care who wins, I really don't," said the Englishman. "I want to see them race, however, I don't want to see them do anything that will jeopardise our team's result. I don't care which of our drivers comes home first, as long as he's leading a McLaren 1-2."
"The reality is both our guys are winners," added Whitmarsh, they want to win. If Fernando got out of the car and said he was delighted Lewis beat him today, I would be very worried.
"Fernando is a phenomenal competitor, it's a long season and he's still aiming to win the World Championship."
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