Alonso denies brake testing Hamilton


Fernando Alonso has denied that he brake tested Lewis Hamilton as the pair battled during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

On Lap 37, two laps after making his second stop of the afternoon, Hamilton passed the Spaniard, who had pitted two laps earlier, for 11th.

As he had his time deleted for the second successive lap after exceeding the track limits at Turn 4, and having been passed by Hamilton, the Spaniard complained: "We have the slowest car on the straights... by far."

At which point he subsequently overtook the Mercedes driver.

"He just brake tested me," shouted Hamilton, "he brake tested me, way before the zone."

Not so, insists the Spaniard, who says he deliberately slowed in order to allow the Mercedes past and thereby have the advantage of DRS on the run to Turn 6.

"We did the same in Canada in 2012," smiled the Aston Martin driver, a walking encyclopaedia of F1 tactics, fair and foul. "So 11 years after that episode, we tried to give the DRS to the other guy by braking for Turn 5.

"In both cases I won so, it's OK," he grinned.

"Well we were flat out, 300 metres or 400 metres before the corner and I was doing 180 mph and the guy all of a sudden slowed down drastically ahead of me," insisted Hamilton, who had already incurred damage following a clash with Pierre Gasly.

"Lewis is obviously very clever and understands the sport really good and has a lot of experience," said Alonso. "But I have more!"

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the move, Alonso's seventh place ensured he finished fourth in the standings.

"It feels a bit unexpected, and I would not have put any money on myself finishing fourth this season," he said. "It's like a gift to finish ahead of the Ferraris and Lando Norris.

"If you'd told me before this weekend that I'd finish fourth in the championship, I wouldn't have believed you," he added. "I'm really pleased with the way I've driven all season.

"Together with 2012, I consider this to be my best season ever," he continued. "Better than 2005 and 2006, for sure. I got the maximum from the car all season.

"This year has far exceeded all our wildest expectations and every single person should be proud of what we've achieved.

"I am very happy with how I connected with this team with the car and very excited for next season. The whole Aston Martin team has worked incredibly hard and I am already looking forward to going into the winter and starting work for next season.

"We started this year as an underdog, but we'll start 2024 very much in the spotlight; we need to be ready for that."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Yas Marina here.

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Published: 28/11/2023
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