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FORMULA 1

Fernando Alonso plays down Lewis Hamilton “idiot” comments in Spa

“First of all it’s Lewis, he’s a champion, he’s a legend of our time,” send the Spaniard, who felt the need to apologise.

Alan Baldwin
Update:
Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton (R) collides with Alpine's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (C) during the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at Spa-Francophones racetrack at Spa, on August 28, 2022. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP)
JOHN THYSAFP

Fernando Alonso apologised on Thursday for calling Lewis Hamilton an idiot after they collided at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix and said his heat of the moment comments were blown out of proportion. The double world champion had also said on team radio, in a broadside heard by a global television audience, that the Mercedes driver only knew how to start and drive in first place.

Alonso apologises to Hamilton

Hamilton, a seven times world champion, is Formula One's most successful driver of all time with 103 wins -- some of his more spectacular ones coming after he fought back through the field.

When you say something to others, it’s a little bit more serious.

Fernando Alonso

Talking to reporters ahead of this weekend's Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Alpine's Alonso recognised his first lap outburst had made huge waves.

“First of all it’s Lewis, he’s a champion, he’s a legend of our time. And then when you say something, and I’m sorry to repeat this, against a British driver there is a huge media involvement after that,” he added.

“They’ve been saying a lot of things to Checo (Red Bull’s Sergio Perez), to (Ferrari’s) Carlos (Sainz), to me. They say something to a Latin driver, everything is 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.”

Hamilton respect from Alonso

Alonso said he had huge respect for Hamilton, who was his rookie team mate at McLaren in a stormy 2007 season, and had no problems with him.

“It is something that you say with the heat of the moment, but nothing that I said is true. There are facts that are completely the opposite,” he added.

Alonso later met up with Hamilton to apologise in person, a picture on Instagram showing the two standing together with the Spaniard holding a Mercedes cap signed by the Briton.

“Yes, it’s mine,” read the caption. Hamilton had posted a photo earlier in the week of the cap with ‘To Fernando’ written on it.

things that are broadcast on the radio normally are a little bit spicy

Fernando Alonso

Alonso compared his comments to something said to a team mate during a soccer match after a hard tackle and suggested he would be more guarded in future.

“I will try to be quiet always in the radio and don’t be part of a show that I don’t agree (with),” he said. ”All the things that are broadcast on the radio normally are a little bit spicy because the sport wants that spice into the race ... I understand that.

“Unfortunately the measure you will have to take to avoid broadcasting things in the heat of the moment is to stay quiet all of the time.”

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