Fernando Alonso slams ‘huge media involvement’ after insulting Lewis Hamilton

Fernando Alonso claimed that Sir Lewis Hamilton could only race well when at the front of the field.

Fernando Alonso has apologised for his insults of Sir Lewis Hamilton made over the team radio at the Belgian Grand Prix.

After starting the race next to one another, the two drivers went side by side early in the first lap.

Hamilton then tried to pass Alonso around the outside and hit the Spaniard, with the impact forcing him to retire.

Alonso’s car was largely unscathed, with I’m going on to finish in P5, but the Alpine driver was furious nonetheless and made his feelings abundantly clear on the team radio. 

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“What an idiot! Closing the door from the outside,” he said.

“I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.”

He toned down his criticism after the race, at which point Hamilton had accepted full responsibility for the incident, but the Brit wasn’t too happy when presented with Alonso’s comments.

He had initially planned to apologise to the 41-year-old in person at Spa but changed his mind when told what he had said about him. 

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Alonso was given the chance to apologise for what he said at the Dutch Grand Prix press conference and chose to do so.

However, he feels the media made a bigger deal of it than it actually was because it involved a British driver.

“First of all, Lewis is a champion, he’s a legend of our time,” he said.

“And then when you say something – and I’m sorry to repeat this – against a British driver, there is huge media involvement after that. They’ve been saying a lot of things to Checo [Perez], to Carlos [Sainz], to me.

“If you say something to a Latin driver, everything’s a little bit more fun. When you say something to others, it’s a little bit more serious.

“But anyway yes, I apologise. I was not thinking what I said. I don’t think that there was much to blame in that moment, to be honest, looking at the replays and everything, because it’s a first-lap incident, we are all very close together.”

He was criticised by many for claiming that Hamilton can only perform when he’s at the front, with Martin Brundle saying that was “unfair and inaccurate.”

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The soon-to-be Aston Martin driver agrees that it’s not true and says that he doesn’t believe it is, but just said it out of anger at the time.

“No, no, no, I don’t believe [that],” he added.

“I mean, it’s not that I believe or don’t believe, there are facts that it is not that way. 

“So it’s something that you say in the heat of the moment. But as I said, nothing that I said is true, or there are facts that are completely the opposite. So I have huge respect.”