Formula 1 grand prix veteran turned pundit Martin Brundle has censured Fernando Alonso for his scathing remarks pointed at Lewis Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix.
Alonso and Hamilton, who had a tumultuous tenure as McLaren teammates in 2007, collided on the opening lap of the race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The contact came at Les Combes after Hamilton went around the Alpine of Alonso, resulting in wheel-to-wheel contact and an airborne Mercedes.
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Hamilton suffered a DNF as a result of the contact while Alonso went on to finish fifth.
Upon review, Hamilton was quick to take responsibility for the incident. Though that was after Alonso fired up over the radio.
“What an idiot! Closing the door from the outside,” said Alonso.
“I mean, we had a mega-start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first!”
On the incident, Hamilton said: “I had a really good tow on Fernando and did a move down the outside. I got up alongside him, a little bit ahead of him.
“I thought that I had left enough room and I didn’t. I paid the price for it and it’s my fault. I’m just really sorry to my team really.”
While stopping short of apologising for the comment, Alonso said he was frustrated in the heat of the moment.
For Brundle, Alonso’s tirade was ultimately uncalled for – although Hamilton, equally, should have known better.
“Lewis said he couldn’t see Fernando in his blind spot but frankly he was bound to be there somewhere,” Brundle wrote in his Sky Sports F1 column.
“And the Spaniard tried his best to stay to the inside and give space. Lewis saw the footage and immediately put his hand up and correctly accepted full responsibility.
“Fernando’s radio comments, albeit fuelled by anger and adrenaline, about Lewis only being able to win from the front were in my opinion wholly inaccurate and unfair.
“Lewis is one of the fairest and cleanest drivers in the history of F1, he hasn’t needed to resort to too many professional fouls given his relentless speed, and just cast your mind back to Brazil last year to remember how he can scythe through the field. Twice.”
Alonso’s blow-up at Hamilton hasn’t come as a surprise to some.
The pair endured a strained relationship at McLaren in 2007 during what was Hamilton’s debut season in Formula 1.
An incident at the Hungarian Grand Prix saw Hamilton break an agreement during qualifying, jumping ahead of Alonso in the pit lane.
In retaliation, Alonso stopped in his pit bay forcing Hamilton to wait. In the end, the time spent idle plus the time it took to refuel the car cost the Briton a chance to set a time.
Neither would win that year’s Formula 1 title. Instead, it was Kimi Raikkonen on 110 points while Hamilton and Alonso finished equal on 109 points.
This year’s Formula 1 season continues with the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort on September 4.
Seven-time Formula 1 champion Hamilton lies sixth in the drivers’ championship behind Mercedes teammate George Russell.
Alonso sits ninth in the standings behind Alpine off-sider Esteban Ocon.
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