The BBC report that Lewis Hamilton has accused Fernando Alonso of ‘sour grapes’ after his constant complaints both during and after the European Grand Prix.
Alonso accused Hamilton and McLaren of ‘manipulating’ the result of Sunday’s race in Valencia after the Brit overtook the safety car as it emerged from the pit lane to control the field following Mark Webbers’ spectacular accident.
Hamilton was given a drive-through penalty for his breach of the rules, but managed to retain his second place behind Sebastian Vettel. As the pace car came out of the pits, Alonso ended up directly it and was relegated to tenth place when he pitted.
The Spaniard complained to his team about the behaviour of his former teammate throughout the race over his radio, and Ferrari have since suggested that Hamilton should have been disqualified from the race for this misdemeanour.
Hamilton has hit back, noting that Alonso was overtaken by Kamui Kobayashi on the penultimate lap of Sunday’s race: “I saw him overtaken by a Sauber. He must have been completely in another world,” he told the BBC. “It’s very unlike him to be overtaken by a Sauber.”
“I don’t understand why I affected his race so much,” added Hamilton. “Everyone has a right to their opinion, and he must be disappointed with his own result, but I didn’t do anything to him.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh agreed with his driver: “If you look at the incident itself it was very, very difficult to avoid what happened. It was minuscule.”
The BBC report that Ferrari and Alonso haven’t had much support up and down the pitlane. For example, the Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said that they had just been unlucky. “I think the safety car rules have not played out for Ferrari, and McLaren was perhaps a bit naughty with the way it worked it, but it got a penalty for that,” he said.
“Arguably it didn’t cost them, but that’s just the way it worked out. I don’t think it was manipulated. The FIA just need to look at the safety car rules in the future.”
Williams technical director Sam Michael agrees that the safety car rules need to be reviewed after nine cars were penalised after the race for breaching them.
Alonso and Hamilton’s bitter rivalry dates back to the 2007 season when they were teammates at McLaren. Hamilton more than matched Alonso’s performance in his rookie year, and the Spaniard went into a bit of a sulk, and headed back to Renault at the end of the year, metaphorical tail between his legs.