Lewis Hamilton admitted to making contact with Fernando Alonso on the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix, which did not bring any implications on the Alpine driver but fatal for the seven-time world champion.
This happened after the race began, when Hamilton outbraked Alonso on the outside into the Les Combes complex while running in the Spanish driver’s slipstream up the Kemmel straight.
However, the Mercedes rounded the turn without giving his adversary any space on the right a car’s width. The Mercedes was sent into the air after Hamilton’s rear right wheel clashed with the Alpine’s front left wheel.
After a hard impact, Hamilton was able to continue driving, but his crew quickly told him to quit. Despite claiming that Alonso was “in his blind spot,” Hamilton acknowledged the collision was certainly his fault.
“So it’s unfortunate… I mean, it’s motor racing, I gave it everything,” the seven time world champion said. “I tried to overtake on the outside into turn five.”
“Just didn’t leave quite enough space and I paid the price for it. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened.”
Alonso responded to the contact over the radio with a ferocious tirade in the heat of the moment.
“What an idiot!” a furious Alonso exclaimed. “Closed the door from the outside…. I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive starting first.”
Despite being informed of Alonso’s remark, Hamilton opted not to stir even more controversy over the incidence.
“I don’t really have a response to it. I know that’s how things feel in the heat the moment,” he said. “But it’s nice to know how he feels about me in a way, better that it’s out in the open, how he feels. Like I said, it wasn’t intentional and I take responsibility for it. That’s what adults do.”
Hamilton made it obvious that he had no desire to speak with Alonso or provide an apology: “I mean, I would have until I heard what he said,” he said.
Hamilton received a warning from the FIA stewards for failing to go to Spa’s Medical Center, which is a requirement for drivers when a collision or contact activates the onboard G-force sensors in a vehicle.
“This is not the first time this season that drivers (not Hamilton) have initially refused to go for medical check,” said the stewards. “The stewards issue a warning in this case, with a reminder to all drivers that stronger action may be taken in the future.”