Former Formula 1 driver, Christian Danner, was left wondering how Sir Lewis Hamilton did not see Fernando Alonso in his wing mirror on the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Alonso and Hamilton stared the race at Spa third and fourth, respectively, after Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon had all collected engine penalties.
The seven-time champion was jostling with Alonso heading into Turn One, and he got into the double world champion’s slipstream as they headed down the Kemmel Straight.
Alonso defended his position on the inside at Les Combes, but the 37-year-old was unsighted as he turned into the apex.
When he met the corner, he found that the Alpine was already there, and the subsequent contact sent Hamilton up into the air, before the car came down violently.
The damage caused to the underside and the back of the car as a result forced the 103-time race winner to retire, while Alonso picked up minor damage.
The Spaniard took to the radio to call his former team-mate an “idiot,” and suggested that he only knows how to “start from first” and win races.
Alonso also wagged his finger at the Briton when he passed the stricken Mercedes on the second lap while the drivers were under Safety Car conditions and, when Hamilton returned to the media pen, he accepted that the collision was his fault.
The 41-year-old had calmed down after his impressive fifth-placed finish, and he acknowledged that it was a racing incident – the stewards agreed.
Having just slipstreamed his rival on the Kemmel Straight, Danner was amazed that, while side-by-side with Alonso, Hamilton did not know Alonso was there.
“Of course he was solely to blame, he made the move and then said it’s not his fault because he was in the blind spot. Is he crazy?” said the German, in spite of the fact that Hamilton did indeed take the blame.
“He saw him, overtook him and drove into his car and then says he didn’t see him, so either his short-term memory has suffered or he can’t bring himself to admit that it was just stupid.”
The two drivers shook hands and made up ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, with Hamilton apologising for the crash by way of gifting Alonso a signed Mercedes cap.
The 32-time race winner also apologised for his comment over the radio.