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Hamilton refuses to take the Alonso bait

NEWS STORY
29/08/2022

Despite taking full blame for first lap clash, Lewis Hamilton refuses to engage in a war of words with Fernando Alonso.

Left almost speechless by the 1.8s gap to Max Verstappen on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton's Spa weekend got a whole lot worse on Sunday when he suffered his first DNF of the season after clashing with Fernando Alonso.

Subsequently interviewed the Mercedes driver took "responsibility" for the incident, claiming that the Spaniard had been in his "blind spot" and he hadn't seen him.

"It's unfortunate," said the seven-time world champion. "I mean, it's motor racing, I gave it everything. I tried to overtake on the outside into Turn 5. I just didn't leave quite enough space and I paid the price for it.

"It wasn't intentional, it just happened," he concluded.

At the time of the incident, speaking over his radio, Alonso was equally adamant in terms of where the blame lay.

"What an idiot!" declared the Spaniard. "He closed the door from the outside... I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive starting first."

Subsequently told of Alonso's comments, Hamilton refused to rise to the bait, despite Sky Sports best efforts to create a Drive to Survive-style drama.

"I don't really have a response to it," said the Briton. "I know that's how things feel in the heat the moment. It's nice to know how he feels about me in a way, better that it's out in the open, how he feels.

"Like I said, it wasn't intentional and I take responsibility for it. That's what adults do."

Asked if he would apologise personally to Alonso, Hamilton smiled: "I would have until I heard what he said."

Alonso, meanwhile, appeared to stand by his initial reaction.

"He now saw the incident and he takes responsibility," said the Spaniard, "which is obviously very nice from him.

"It was a Lap 1 incident," he continued, "nothing really more to say there or the stewards. They didn't say anything because these things happen in that corner. It happened in the past, also, I remember with Nico Rosberg, the same thing. So it's a tricky corner. I was frustrated in that moment, for sure.

"Every time we start in the first or second row and we are fighting for top three, there is something going on. I was frustrated, but luckily my car was very strong and there was nothing going on. Lewis had not much luck and had to retire the car."

"I remember looking at the ground," said Hamilton of the clash, "it was definitely high up. I'm grateful to be still alive and in shape. I could hear something's broken in the gearbox. Coming down I would have broken so much in the back end, so I was told to stop."

In their investigation of the clash the stewards deemed that Alonso was on the inside at turn 5 and Hamilton's front wheels were ahead of the Spaniard's at the entry to the corner.

Alonso moved his car off line to the inside with both right side tyres fully on the kerb and even somewhat inside the kerb. At no point did he appear to lose
control or understeer. Hamilton turned into towards the apex of the corner with Alonso still alongside and the collision occurred.

The stewards considered that this was a first lap incident with a lot of movement relative to other cars in the first few corners, and therefore took no further action.

On the other hand, the Briton was given a warning for refusing to visit the Medical Centre following the accident, which had triggered the Medical Warning Light signal.

"The stewards received a report from the Race Director that Hamilton refused to visit the Event Medical Service following his crash on Lap 1 where the Medical
Warning Light threshold was exceeded and only did so after the Race Director informed the team that further action could be taken if he did not," read the subsequent statement from race control.

"This is not the first time this season that drivers (not Hamilton) have initially refused to go for a medical check. The stewards issue a warning in this case, with a reminder to all drivers that stronger action may be taken in the future."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Spa here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 30/08/2022 1:01

"@ Bill Hopgood....'Good to see a driver owning it'? He could hardly do anything else as it was plain to see that he messed up very badly. Despite that he then went and claimed 'Alonso was in my blind spot'. So what? He should've backed out. I would also bet the 'sheep station' that if it was anyone else they would've got more than a ' mention in despatches'. Boys don't wear princess dresses."

Rating: Negative (-2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 29/08/2022 19:15

""Like I said, it wasn't intentional and I take responsibility for it. That's what adults do."

Good to see a driver "owning it".

@Endre, often 1st lap incidents are given a certain amount of leniency, though I suspect if Alonso had had damage causing a retirement then Hamilton may have got a penalty."

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3. Posted by Endre, 29/08/2022 13:46

"Fully agree with comments before. We have also seen the FIA's Hamilton protection group in action. How is it possible the stewards decision to be "no further action"??? Eve the Sky commentators thought it could have been a grid drop penalty for the next race. "

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4. Posted by kenji, 29/08/2022 12:35

"@JCR...Alonso is spot on in his quotation. The Wolff/Hamilton juggernaut is coming apart at the seams...and I love it. After seven years of palpable swagger the worm has turned...thankfully. I wonder what Alonso thought of the 'shocking pink bonnet adorned with flowers as worn by Hamilton at the track? Can't see it as being too complimentary.....boys don't wear bonnets. ooops!"

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5. Posted by jcr, 29/08/2022 7:16

"Alonso only saying what many have believed for a long time"

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