Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff believes Fernando Alonso was trying to produce a “bit of drama” during Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, following a pitlane incident with seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
Alonso and Hamilton started Sunday’s race at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve in second and third; however, it was the Briton who made the better start.
As a result, Hamilton overtook his former McLaren team-mate as they approached the first corner, promoting him into second.
The pair remained incredibly close throughout the opening phase of the race, with Alonso having never slipped beyond one-second of the 38-year-old.
They both opted to pit at the end of Lap 13 after a Safety Car was released onto the circuit, after George Russell collided heavily with the wall on the outside of Turn 9, scattering debris across the track.
Aston Martin produced a much quicker pit-stop than Mercedes and released Alonso well before Hamilton had been let go by the Silver Arrows, something which saw the pair almost collide.
Hamilton was released narrowly ahead of Alonso, who was forced to brake to avoid an incident.
The 43-year-old shook his steering wheel and waved his hand in the air in frustration, something Wolff believes “he is good at”.
The FIA did investigate whether Hamilton was released unsafely; however, no action was taken.
It ended up not really mattering, as Alonso overtook Hamilton down the main straight to reclaim second.
The Aston Martin driver went on to finish in second, with Hamilton crossing the line three seconds behind in third.
It marked Hamilton’s second consecutive podium and his third of the season, putting him just 24 points behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Championship.
Alonso is even closer to the Mexican, with him being just nine points behind the 33-year-old ahead of next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Whilst it could be argued that Hamilton should’ve been given a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release, the fact he wasn’t made for an exciting battle.
Alonso would’ve likely sat within five seconds of Hamilton had he been awarded with a penalty, rather than attempt an overtake.
Wolff believes it was all just a “bit of drama” and certainly not a penalty, something the FIA agreed with.
“[It was] a bit of drama,” Wolff said, as reported by Crash.net.
“Shaking the steering a little bit and a little bit of touching of the brakes. He is good at that, the cries of ‘I nearly hit him’… a bit of drama.”