Lewis Hamilton has sent Fernando Alonso a signed hat after the pair came to blows following a first-lap collision in the Belgian Grand Prix. The two former world champions collided in turn five at Sunday’s race, sending the Briton airborne and forcing his retirement from the race.
The incident caused tensions to rise between the pair. Alonso heavily criticised the seven-time world champion during the race claiming the Brit was an ‘idiot’ who only knew how to race from first position. He was also seen wagging his finger at the 37-year-old when he drove past his stricken Mercedes under the safety car in the second lap.
Speaking over team radio at the time Alonso said: “Yeah, what an idiot! Closing the door from the outside. I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.”
When interviewed after the race Hamilton claimed he didn’t care what Alonso had to say but admitted he had been at fault for the accident.
“It doesn’t really matter he said that,” he told Sky Sports F1. “I don’t really care. It was my fault. I couldn’t see him actually. He was right in my blind spot.”
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Now it appears that Hamilton has made a cheeky attempt to inflame tensions further after posting a picture of a signed Mercedes hat addressed to Fernando on his Instagram.
The picture posted within a reel of other photographs from the race weekend had the caption: “Even though the weekend didn’t go the way we wanted, after an amazing break it was so good to be back at work. I love my job, my team, and I loved the energy at Spa. Thank you to the team for all the hard work and thank you to the fans that came out to show love, I appreciate you.”
The crash came after both Hamilton and Alonso jumped Sergio Perez after a poor start for the Red Bull driver. Hamilton had a great run on the Alpine down the Kemmel straight and looked set to secure P2 before the contact.
Alonso’s decision to call Hamilton an idiot divided opinion with much being made of the comment online. Veteran Martin Brundle took the 103-time race winner’s side in the affair, claiming it had just been an emotional reaction from the Spanish driver in the high-pressure environment of the cockpit.
Writing for Sky Sports the former Formula One driver said: “Lewis said he couldn’t see Fernando in his blind spot but frankly he was bound to be there somewhere, and the Spaniard tried his best to stay to the inside and give space. Lewis saw the footage and immediately put his hand up and correctly accepted full responsibility.
“Fernando’s radio comments, albeit fuelled by anger and adrenaline, about Lewis only being able to win from the front were in my opinion wholly inaccurate and unfair. Lewis is one of the fairest and cleanest drivers in the history of F1, he hasn’t needed to resort to too many professional fouls given his relentless speed, and just cast your mind back to Brazil last year to remember how he can scythe through the field. Twice.”
The pair will not have long until they can revisit their feud as the Formula One circus rolls into Zandvoort for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix this weekend.