‘I was not thinking what I said… he’s a legend’: Fernando Alonso apologises for Lewis Hamilton ‘IDIOT’ jibe after claiming the seven-time champion ‘only knows how to drive and start in first’ following Belgian GP crash
- Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton collided on the first lap of the Belgian GP
- The Brit was propelled into the air and eventually forced to retire after the crash
- Alonso exclaimed ‘What an idiot!’ over his team radio in reaction to the incident
- But the Spaniard says that he regrets his outburst and should not have reacted
- They are former McLaren team-mates and have nine world titles between them
Fernando Alonso has apologised for tearing into Lewis Hamilton and branding him an ‘idiot’ following their crash at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The former McLaren team-mates, who have nine world titles between them, went wheel-to-wheel in the first lap of the race in Stavelot as they battled for second place.
Hamilton, coming from third, nudged ahead around the right-hander Les Combes, squeezing Alonso, who was hugging the kerb. They tangled. Hamilton was propelled into the air and landed with a thump so hard it ‘nearly broke my back coming down’.
Fernando Alonso has apologised for tearing into Lewis Hamilton and branding him an ‘idiot’
On returning to the asphalt, he did well to gather the car and limped on briefly before retiring his water-leaking Mercedes.
Following the collision, Alonso – who eventually finished fifth – exclaimed over his Alpine team radio: ‘What an idiot! Closing the door from the outside. We had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.’
Ahead of this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, the Spaniard admitted that he regretted his outburst and offered an apology to Hamilton.
‘First of all, Lewis is a champion, he’s a legend of our time,’ Alonso said. When you say something – and I’m sorry to repeat this – against a British driver, there is a huge media involvement after that.
The pair collided on the first lap of last weekend’s Belgian GP, which sent Hamilton into the air
‘What an idiot!’ the Spaniard exclaimed over his team radio, as he felt he had been cut across
‘If you say something to a Latin driver, everything’s a little bit more fun. But when you say something to others, it’s a little bit more serious. But yes, I apologise. I was not thinking what I said.
‘I don’t think there was much to blame in that moment looking at the replays because it’s a first-lap incident and we are all very close to each other.
‘The heat of the moment and the adrenaline of the moment, finally fighting for top two, top three, made me say those comments that I should not say.’
The 41-year-old added that he did not mean what he said about Hamilton only being able to win from the front: ‘No, no, no, I don’t believe [that]. It’s not even that I believe or don’t believe, there are facts that it is not that way.
Alonso and Hamilton are former McLaren team-mates and have nine world titles between them
Hamilton, who was forced to retire, was irked by Alonso’s post-race comments last weekend
‘I have huge respect. Hopefully when we are doing the TV pen I will approach him and say sorry if he understood in that way. I have absolutely no problems with him.’
Hamilton was irked by Alonso’s post-race comments last weekend and revealed he would not be reaching out to the Spaniard.
‘No,’ Hamilton said. ‘I mean, I would have done until I heard what he said. ‘I don’t really have a response to it. I know how things go in the heat of the moment, but it is nice to know how he feels about me, and it is better that it is out in the open.
‘The accident wasn’t intentional. I take responsibility for it. That is what adults do, and we move on. I just didn’t leave quite enough space. I am grateful to still be alive and in shape.’
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