Fernando Alonso caused quite the stir among fans when he made a comment about Sir Lewis Hamilton’s ability behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car.
The seven-time champion started fourth behind third-placed Alonso after they had been lifted up the order by grid penalties for Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon, so all was set for a potential podium battle.
Sadly, that battle came to an early end when the pair collided on the opening lap, with Hamilton being launched up into the air, ultimately causing terminal damage to his car.
Alonso picked up minor damage, and went on to finish in P5 after Leclerc picked up a penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
The 41-year-old took to the radio after the contact to suggest that Hamilton could only race while starting from first.
One fan agreed with that sentiment, labelling Hamilton a “horrific” and “dangerous” driver.
“He’s correct,” they said.
“Look at all the Verstappen incidents? How many has he had since? Lewis Hamilton is horrific without having by far the best car. Can’t race wheel to wheel and is actually highly dangerous to everyone else on the grid.”
Others were in agreement that Hamilton was at fault for the crash, but uncertain on the double world champion’s choice of words.
“It was Lewis fault but that comment just shows Alonso’s hate against Lewis, still can‘t live it down that he was owned by a rookie, poor show of character but no surprise there,” said another.
Hamilton apologised for the incident when he returned to the media pen, and accepted that it was his fault.
Alonso was pleased to see his colleague take responsibility and, now that he had calmed down, he accepted that the crash was an easy one to have at Les Combes on the opening lap.
“I mean, I was surprised,” he told Sky Sports.
“And for sure, he now saw the incident and he takes the responsibility which is obviously very nice from him, and it was a lap one incident, nothing really to say there.
“The stewards didn’t say anything because these things happen, especially in that corner. It happened in the past, I remember also with Lewis and [Nico] Rosberg the same thing.
“So, it’s s tricky corner. I was frustrated in that moment for sure, every time we start on the first row or second row, we are fighting for top two/top three, there is something going on.
“And yeah, it was frustrating, but luckily my car was very strong and nothing happened, I could continue.
“Lewis had not that luck, and he had to retire the car.”
Verstappen went on to win the race from 13th on the grid as Sergio Perez ensured Red Bull’s fourth one-two of the season.
The Austrian side now lead the Scuderia by 118 points in the Constructors’ Standings after Carlos Sainz’s third placed finish, while the Dutchman now leads his team-mate by 93 points in the drivers’ conversation.