Alonso denies blame for Hamilton crash

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Today’s Bahrain Grand Prix saw the latest development in the Lewis Hamilton-Fernando Alonso rivalry. Hamilton hit the back of Alonso’s Renault causing the McLaren driver to lose his front wing.

Alonso denied he was responsible, saying: “The McLaren was just a lot faster than my car and he crashed into me.” Hamilton has not yet commented on the incident – but Alonso’s defensive driving has been criticised for causing accidents in the past.

David Coulthard blamed Alonso for causing this crash in the 2003 European Grand Prix:

Coulthard claimed Alonso had deliberately braked early for the corner to force him to take avoiding action and go off. Did Alonso do something similar today – perhaps easing off the throttle to cause Hamilton to make a mistake? Or did Hamilton just misjudge how much quicker he was?

Whatever happened it’s likely to inflame the unpopularity of Hamilton in Spain with the Spanish Grand Prix the next stop on the calendar.

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122 comments on “Alonso denies blame for Hamilton crash”

  1. If Alonso did do that deliberately then I will lop off my left testicle, cook it in garlic butter and eat it. Claims that it was deliberate are seriously deluded and no doubt are being made by the same people who think Max should resign becuase of the false "nazi" allegations made by a worthless "newspaper".

  2. I don’t think Alonso did it deliberately either, but I’m not going to resort to Rohan’s methods if I’m wrong.

  3. Personally I think it was Hamilton’s fault. The Renault is slow, the McLaren is faster and to be honest wouldn’t Alonso be paying attention to what’s in front of him?

    I hate that the ITV commentators started blaming Alonso.  It’s ridiculous.  Hamilton should have been paying attention to what was in front of him!

  4. This is going to be long….. All I can see is Fred loosing traction at the exit of the previous left turn and, therefore, loosing speed at the exit of the right turn. I can’t se no sudden lift on the throttle… the brake test Allen’s theory is just silly. In any case, the conspiracy theory is on fire

  5. I have saw several times the clip, and i can’t see any defencing move in Alonso. The Hamilton’s aproximattion is progressive, and you can predict when Hamilton is going to crash. I think is amilton’s fault.

    Anyway without telemetry is hard to say if Alonso did something to defend from Lewis.

    One last thing: If Alonso braked, i have to say is an allowed movement. In F1 ‘brake test’ are allowed in straights parts. Only in corners is nor allowed.

    But after 15 times i can’t see any brake test.

  6. The incident with DC was fully investigated by FIA stewards and after reviewing his thelemetry they had nothing to say…. Although I saw it live and thought it was a little strange…. who knows? What DC wasn’t going to do is to blame himself.

  7. I certainly don’t think he braked. Absolutely not. If he’d braked there would have been a gigantic crash and the discussion wouldn’t be "did Alonso do anything" it would be "how long should he be banned for?"

    If he did anything we’re talking about a very small lift. But if the telemetry shows him doing anything other than 100% throttle at that point then there will be some serious questions about whether it was acceptable driving.

  8. I’m sorry Keith, but i disagree.

    Alonso doing anything other than 100% throttle is obviously unfair play, but is completely allowed by FIA rules, and impossible to punish.

    But i don’t think nothing strange happened. Only Lewis very anxious thinking in move up positions.

  9. 100 % throttle is something of the past, that Traction Controlled and Semiautomated cars…. this year 100% throttle is silly

  10. Coming out of the corner Alonso should have been on the throttle so much faster than Hamilton even with a performance disadvantage. So I say Alonso defiantly ‘break tested’ Hamilton on his first opportunity to do so. Just like he held him up in the pits last year.

  11. I seem to remember that Hamilton escaped punishment when he much more obviously brake tested in Fuji last year.

  12. Thanks Architron for a intelligent suggestion. We’ve seen Massa make 2 mistakes in the past 2 races. All he did(as we speculate and i think we are right), was to get on the gas a lil too soon/ too hard. Hamilton lost it too, while on the kerb and accelerating. So it means people will have to be cautious. 100% throttle will be seen but, not always. I seriously wonder, about how can DC claim a moral high ground and accuse someone, after what he did in Spa, 1998, at about 300 kmph on Kemmel straight.

  13. Alonso comes out cheap again. This guy can’t lose, and hates Hamilton, figured there wouldn’t be many times when Lewis is behind him, in any race, given the teams, and took a punch below the belt. Unsportsmanlike behavoir, but then again, Alonso has always been a sore loser. Shame on you Fernando!

  14. in the us speed didn’t even consider the possibility that alonso could be faulted.  hamilton just pulled too much speed and maybe anticipated alonso would be accelerating faster.  misjudgement.

    my question is-what the heck was button thinking of?

  15. This is just rediculous! Next they are going to blame Alonso for Hamilton’s start.  Maybe Alonso sneezed as he went past the Mc Laren before the start and the aerodynamics of the car got changed!
    Hammy cleary had a bad start and like he does when he has a bad start he started seeing overtaking opportunities where they do not exist and banged into the back of the Renault.

  16. Ok Derek, i buy you that one, Alonso is a driver who play unfairly. Is he also stupid?

    Brake test is a movement to force at the other driver to change direction, not to cause an accident. If Alonso did a break test so late that hamilton couldn’t avoid the collision, he was also damaging himself.

    Maybe ITV sholud learn that Hamilton is not going to win all the times. Hamilton fails, like all the drivers does.

  17. Maybe 100% throttle is unrealistic, and "break tests" or lifting is a perfectly legal move. But the telemetry will clearly show if he was driving that section of track differently to usual. Renault team apparently broadcast their telemetry on their website. I’d guess most the paddock already know what happened.

    Even if he lifted i don’t think it was reckless driving. Cheeky, but not dangerous. The resulting collision wasn’t particularly spectacular.

    The difference in speed was certainly a bit odd.

  18. I think this is all blown up because ITV don’t think Hamilton can make mistakes. Had Hamilton crashed into anybody bar Alonso it wouldn’t be this big a deal. Or had someone else crashed into Alonso bar Hamilton it wouldn’t be speculated he did it on purpose!

  19. Seriously I think Hamilton needs to relearn F1 driving… last year that supercomputerized machines did a lot of work by him, managing the engine power, redistributing brake power and balance on each turn, launch control, etc. (it has been said that there were a different engine setting for each turn………)

    But this year is a complete different business… he needs to acquire the instinct that comes after battling with such dog of a car like a Minardi, a Jaguar, a last year Renault, an Honda or a last year Toyota. Wild reactions with no margin for error: no more full throttle, watch for the kerbs, be careful braking, and be aware of the front car.

  20. What on earth does Alonso have to gain by ‘brake testing’ Hamilton? 

    I seem to recall Vettel running into the back of Webber thanks to Hamilton’s antics behind the SC last year.  Vettel got punished for that, so surely Hamilton should get punished for running into Alonso?

    I do hope that ITV gets a letter from Alonso’s lawyers for slander.  They have absolutely no proof and they could hardly talk about anything else.

    Perhaps they should have talked about Lewis’ start, instead…

  21. Of course Alonso lifted his foot off the accelerator, its not worth getting into an argument but time will tell!!

  22.  amackayj

    It was Hamilton who got called into the Stewards at Fuji ie. the car in front!! So Alonso should provide his print out if he has nothing to hide.

  23. Another bite of reality (and after this I’ll slow down and watch the battle). Why McLaren haven’t said anything about the incident at this moment?

  24. I think McLaren will make sure they have all their ‘ducks in a row’ before saying enything.

  25. Derek – if your memory was working you would recall that Hamilton only got called into the stewards after massive uproar by the drivers themselves. Initially Vettel was deemed solely to blame.

    We all know that Hamilton has a history of driving as if no-one else is on the road (yet another part of his disgraceful arrogance), so this incident should come as no surprise to anyone who follows F1 closely enough.

  26. Architrion, McLaren haven’t said anything because (and I quote) they "see no benefit from having Alonso reprimanded". This is complete bull and is yet another indicator of McLaren’s double standards.

  27. Architrion, obviously because they know Hamilton was to blame not Alonso.

  28.  Rohan   Granted,I have been accused (justifiably some might say) of selective memory in the past but not for my lack of knowledge or passion for F1. In this case I just happen to be a Hamilton fan, and what’s so wrong with that.

  29. Anyone heard the word avenge guys, Alonso is not a good sportsman, prolly chuckling to himself right now.

  30. We could create a fan club here on the basis of the McLaren’s double standards      :-))

  31. With all the circumstantial evidence, I think alonso is at fault – no one else came close to hitting the car in front. The concertina effect makes it highly unlikely. Also the obvious rivalry… Alonso knew he was going to be passed – the Mclaren is the better car by miles. But I don’t think he braked. He was slower on the accelerator to force hamilton to back off and he was in the middle of the track so able to swerve to avoid hamilton overtaking. Alonso didn’t intend to crash, just try and gain a little breathing space and delay Hamilton’s inevitable overtaking. Plus it would have wound Hamilton up, which to Alonso is a BIG bonus.

  32. I was amazed at how fast the itv commentators jumped on Alonso as "causing the incident". He looks out of shape through the entire corner and appears to be struggling with understear in an obviously inferior car. Hamilton’s second season doesn’t make him an F1 veteran hes still a rookie and in my opinion made a typical rookies mistake ie took no avoiding action or obvious passing manoevre attempt just rammed him one. If that had happened off circuit Hamiltons insurance company would have picked up the bill LOL.

  33. HAHA! You lot make me laugh!

    Yes, I am a supporter of Hamilton, but your constant dismissive remarks are a joke!

    Alonso had nothing to gain from lifting off, accept payback for last year. He’s now in a crappy Renault, whilst this younger faster, better driver is is one of the best cars in the field.
    We all know he is capable of such antics after the pit lane hold up last season.

    Alonso should have been going much faster out of the corner, being on the throttle over a car length before Hamilton was.

    Alonso hates Hamilton, and figured there wouldn’t be many times when Lewis was behind him on the track and took full advantage. He was out of the points, and had nothing to loose, or gain. Unsportsmanlike, but then again, Alonso has always been a sore loser.

    Leah said:
    "Had Hamilton crashed into anybody bar Alonso it wouldn’t be this big a deal. Or had someone else crashed into Alonso bar Hamilton it wouldn’t be speculated he did it on purpose!"

    You’re right. It wouldn’t be spectulated. Alonso has no reason to do it to anybody else. He’s still got a grudge from his apparently ‘poor’ treatment he recieved from Mclaren last year. Or more like he didn’t get his own way.

    Architrion said:
    "Seriously I think Hamilton needs to relearn F1 driving… last year that supercomputerized machines did a lot of work by him, managing the engine power, redistributing brake power and balance on each turn, launch control, etc. (it has been said that there were a different engine setting for each turn………) But this year is a complete different business… he needs to acquire the instinct that comes after battling with such dog of a car like a Minardi, a Jaguar, a last year Renault, an Honda or a last year Toyota. Wild reactions with no margin for error: no more full throttle, watch for the kerbs, be careful braking, and be aware of the front car"

    Do you not think he already knows how to drive without aids? You know he has driven all his life in many other formulas, many or maybe all of which have no driver aids?

    Oh, and the sooner the Ferrari supporting Max Mosely is out, the better. It will be nice having an independent president of the FIA.

  34. I’m willing to accept a two races ban for Fred if he brake tested Hami…. but, what penalty should receive that guy if he just mounted in the back of the Renault? Perhaps he thought that he was even faster although he had to tow that tractor….

  35. Pete said:
    With all the circumstantial evidence, I think alonso is at fault – no one else came close to hitting the car in front. The concertina effect makes it highly unlikely. Also the obvious rivalry… Alonso knew he was going to be passed – the Mclaren is the better car by miles. But I don’t think he braked. He was slower on the accelerator to force hamilton to back off and he was in the middle of the track so able to swerve to avoid hamilton overtaking. Alonso didn’t intend to crash, just try and gain a little breathing space and delay Hamilton’s inevitable overtaking. Plus it would have wound Hamilton up, which to Alonso is a BIG bonus.

    TOTALLY agree

  36. Pedro Andrade
    6th April 2008, 16:02

    If Alonso did it deliberately, than he would seriously risk losing his rear wing, thus being out of the race (like what happened with Fisichella and Yamamoto in brazil last year). Hamilton was the one to blame, in my opinion.

  37. Dear Jeff
    In previous formulas he hasn’t coped with cars that are near of 850 hp, with the materials they are constructed reaching his limits of stress, when 2 mms of the chasis twisting can turn into a spin. That could be a reason why being a rookie has been so hard in the past, don’t you think???

  38. To me, it looks like Alonso ran wide in Turn 2, lifted off so as not to be speared off the track by the curb and Hamilton didn’t see it coming and crashed into him. Just a racing incident in my view.

  39. Frecon – I live in Woking and know 2 people who work at the Mclaren factory. I do not base my opinions on what journalist, newspapers or forums say. I base it on what my close, trusted friends tell me. Thanks.

    Architrion – Just because he now has more horsepower does not mean he has forgotten the basics facts of driving a racing car.

  40. funny, but ridiculous

  41. I’ve had to delete a couple of comments from this thread for swearing.

    Please keep it clean guys.

    Comment policy

  42. I didn’t read all comments, so pardon me if I repeat someone…

    I just wanna say that one obvious rule in driving was forgotten by those who blame Alonso: THE ONE BEHIND IS RESPONSIBLE UNTIL THE ONE AHEAD IS PROVED WRONG!

    Alonso was slow, but it wasn’t a break test, I think he took too long to get full speed, but nothing justifies Hamilton’s crash… It was totally different from Button-Coulthard incident, for example…
    Lewis was, being gentle with him, pretty reckless…

    Well, he is showing, once again, how badly he can drive when trying to do a recovery race (Nurburgring, Interlagos, and now Sakhir)….

    Disclaimer: I still think Hamilton WILL BE one of all-time Formula 1 greats…

  43. Hamilton said he saw nothing wrong with the incident in a post race interview. Racing incident.

    Having watched replays, no, nothing wrong that I could see either. Alonso does have a knack of mid corner braking to unsettle the following car, isnt that how he kept schumi behind him in imola 05 (I think?), but this was after the apex, looks like hamilton just had better drive out of it

    What was his gesture to fisi about, punching the air in a ‘woohoo, I’m past him’ celebration or a ‘you tosser’ gesture?
    If the latter, why?

    Alonso was gesticulating behind Glock too, both racing for positions. Frustrating times in the midfield? Glock stated he had gear selection problems that slowed him and allowed alonso to close

    oh hamiltons bad start, bad engine mapping, didnt select it in time on the formation lap or somesuch, and anti-stall kicked in

  44. Have you got a link for that please Del?

  45. Has nobody notice that Hami was in despair to overtake Alonso because he knew Fred was heavier fueled and staying behind him could ruin his race?

  46. If Hamilton was as lightly fuelled as I think he was Architron that would go for every driver in front of him.

  47. Sorry Keith, i didn’t realize my previous comment was unpolite

  48. It was easy for Hamilton last year when he got all the benefits from Alonso’s car setup. Now, he has to proof as a driver and you are starting to see the results.
    One comment about BMW: good for the pole, but they need to find a driver who can bare the presure of being number one.

  49. These are the 2 people Bernie would love to be battling for the title – because it generates so MUCH discussion.  A pity Lewis is shooting himself in the foot, just like Alonso already has with the way he acted last year.

  50. I translate a small part of a new in a spanish sport newspaper

    After the race, Symmonds showed a copy of the telemtries at the moment of the incident. It can be oserved how the throttle line is always growing up

    http://www.as.com/motor/articulo/symmonds-demuestra-telemetria-hamilton-golpeo/dasmot/20080406dasdasmot_5/Tes

  51. Thanks for that Frecon.

  52. Hamilton said this (source):

    It was a disaster. It was a very poor performance and I sort of let the team down today. It sort of went bad from the beginning, but I’ll keep my chin up and move on and bounce back in the next race.

    As a professional if you start off bad you need to sort of pick the pieces up and still deliver at least some points. I did none of that for the team.

    I had the crash with Fernando which really lost us the race altogether. I’m always the first to blame myself and I feel that’s the right way to go.

    I have no idea [what happened]. I was behind him I went to move to the right and he went to move to the right as well and I ended up on the back somehow. It’s racing.

    Call me a cynic, but I think he’s left some ‘wiggle room’ in his explanation in case the stewards do decide to have a talk with Alonso. But on the whole his message seems to be that he dropped the ball today.

  53. sorry Keith, no link – it was the premiere post race coverage, they had a quick interview with Hamilton but there were a lot of mics stuck in his face, so I’m sure it’ll pop up in full soon enough as a soundbite somewhere. I think it was Norbert Haug that exlpained the wrong engine mapping or timing, I had a German friend with me watching the race (hence my absence from the live blog) so I got some loose translations of the German coverage

  54. And sure it would go, Keith. I seem to reclaim that Rosberg, Glock, Trulli and even Webber were to pit later than Lewis…. Glock was even heavier than Fred!!!!

  55. So after Alonso, Hamilton and Symmond’s explanations, which all point in the same direction, do we still consider Alonso to be a cheat, unsporting, have a grudge against Mclaren, hate Hamilton, stupid enough to risk damaging his own car for the sake of getting one up on Hamilton for last year etc…..?

    By the way, I’m no Hamilton fan, but fair play to him for what he said.

  56. CS: "Do we still consider Alonso to be a cheat?"

    You’re the first person to use that word on here so I guess not.

  57. It’s a very strange crash but I can’t see how Alonso can really be blamed.  I also haven’t seen any telemetry to suggest he braked or lifted but even if he did then there seemed to be time for Hamilton to avoid him.  It’s easy to say so here but it seemed to be a ‘slow’ accident.  Maybe Hamilton was asleep or distracted, he had room and time to drive around him and should have used them.  Bad day for Hamilton, probably nothing more to it than that.

  58. I don’t think ITV were too quick to blame Hamilton. Ted suggested people in the paddock were whispering it and as commentators they couldn’t really let that go could they? Brundle was persistent in his desire to see it again before coming to a conclusion.

    I also think that even if Mclaren (and therefore Lewis) think it was Alonso’s fault Ron’s desire for a clean season takes precedence. Ron made it fairly clear when they were asking about their pit position that he just wanted a quiet season and would pretty much do as ordered. Perhaps if it was going to be the difference between serious points and no points they would push it just in case but I think they can do without it.

    As to whether he did it or not: to me the footage just isn’t clear. I think the fault could lie either, or neither, way.

  59. Keith, you’re right, but I thought it was implied.

  60. Case closed. Here’s Pat Symonds: "He reached fifth gear, at 227km/h, on full throttle, no touching of the brakes or anything like that. And you can see on the accelerometer the impact. He got hit from behind."

  61. The second video is a joke if you understand it. One of the speakers refers to David Coulthard as "Davis" thrice :)
    I love the level of spanish f1 tv reporters.

    Btw, I can remember him using the same tricks in the same race against MS in the last turn to finish. It’s just that MS was more clever than DC…

  62. btw, this ‘accident’ looks very similar to me to spa’s MS and DC one, but with good visibility and no blue flags …

  63. The  simple answer is they both decided to move in the same direction at the very same moment as Hamilton was fully committed to making his overtaking move.

  64. Earlier this season many were making un-founded comments that Massa was having trouble driving without TractionControl. It appears after three races Mr. Hamilton is showing as many defaults in adapting to no TC !  Hmmmm?

  65. 38, what on earth did the Alonso-Hamilton crash have to do with traction control?

  66. In an interview Alonso has said that it was a previous touch with Hamilton. He says that first touch was soft, and after this it was the touch which all of us could watch.

  67. Friend of Max
    6th April 2008, 18:09

    I have read most of the posts here and it is quite amazing that nobody has even considered that the McLaren driver should be PENALISED for driving straight into the back of another car.

    Maybe that is the intent behind wanting to write this off as a simple race incident.

    Remember, this is at the beginning of the race, and I doubt anybody in 9th or 10th place would want to lift off or brake, just to get left behind yet another car.

  68. Lewis manned up and admitted it was his fault, from the start screw up to running up Alonso’s back side, which is supported by Renault’s telemetry.

    I think Lewis will suffer the classic sophomore jinx and struggle more than universally expected.

    And how come no outrage over Jenson’s banzai charge down the inside of DC? THAT move should have been sent to the stewards for review.

  69. Funny how the Brits are the only ppl crying fowl, same as yesterday in qualifying where ITV talked about getting Massa penalised for a good half hour and today they did not as much as say they were wrong.

  70. Friend of Max
    6th April 2008, 18:23

    I also wonder about how interpret Hamilt NOT getting out of the way with a bunged up car… but also taking a shortcut through a set of corners.

    Either he should have continued in normal race conditions and not cut corners, or he should have gotten out of the way, in which case cutting corners could have been understood as somewhat acceptable.

  71. Renault has shown the telemetry of Alonso’s car at the time of the incident. Nothing but constant linear acceleration. In the videos it can also be seen that unless Alonso has a button to swich off his brake light, he did not press the brake!.
    What is really funny is that Hamilton has troubles again with the buttons, looses a lot of positions, in anxiety crashes into Alonso’s car damaging its tail, and it is ALONSO who has to justify that he did nothing wrong.
    Of course, this year will be Alonso again to blame for Hamilton’s troubles!
    Also, Alonso is to blame for all the troubles with McLaren, that is the reason he preferred to quit McLaren even if he knew it meant that he had no chance this year to win the championship!
    BTW, in last year webber incident after Hamilton’s test-brake behind the safety car, McLaren did not show Hamilton’s telemetry.

  72. Just read what Paul Stoddart said about Mosely, who does he think he is….both him and Jackie Stewart seem to be angels sent from heaven to frown on mistakes….oh and who wants Paul Stoddart back in F1, he whinged non stop when he was there..

  73. i’m no hamilton nor alonso fan, but if you look at it: had alonse breaktasted hamilton, the deacceleration of the renault would have been much bigger. Pat Symonds produced the telemetry evidence to show alonso hadn’t braked en the trottle was at 100%. Hamilton said it was a racing accindent. Discussion closed, i would say.

  74. It seems to me that Fernando is not going to get any peace from the british press, having taken all the punishment from last year´s McL disaster, not being clever enough to see how Ron ruined a billiant work made during the last season.
     This is from autosport.com

    Autosport.com has seen the telemetry data of Alonso’s exit from the first corner, and it shows that the Spaniard was flat on the throttle from the exit, did not touch the brake and gained speed in a totally predictable manner.

    Also Hamilton admited it was his falt, saying aswell that´s racing.

    Surprisingly The Times online insists on brake testing. Internet is that fast that even the online papers get caught in their mistakes.

  75. Brundle was persistent in his desire to see it again before coming to a conclusion.

    Fair point – we only saw it once from onboard on the original broadcast, I think.

    Unless Alonso has a button to swich off his brake light, he did not press the brake!

    F1 cars don’t have brake lights.

    In last year webber incident after Hamilton’s test-brake behind the safety car, McLaren did not show Hamilton’s telemetry.

    It’s not illegal for Hamilton to be braking in those circumstances – in fact it was essential, to stop his brakes glazing over in very low temperatures.

    Lewis manned up and admitted it was his fault, from the start screw up to running up Alonso’s back side, which is supported by Renault’s telemetry.

    Agreed (as I wrote in comment 60).

  76. I don’t know who as the fault here but we don’t hear hamilton engine full throttle supposing that the sound is from hamilton,  and if autosport.com saw the telemetry and Alonso was flat in the throttle he as to much to blame in his engineers because his car it’s to slow to respond to the throttle. And another thing everybody get’s to the left in after that corner and Alonso get’s to the right.

  77. i think it’s extremely obvious Alonso didn’t do anything!… I think it was only Hamilton’s fault… the problem is he crashed into Alonso, and that’s why everybody is talking about it…

    It’s just a race incident…

  78. I dont think anyone let alone alonso would be stupid – yes stupid enough to deliberatly get a car rammed up his literal backside – but didn’t a certain schummie go into the back of said alonso once when he was brake testing under the safety car though not at speed? – or was it the other way about?

  79. Showing telemetry with constant acceleration means nothing, you just have to start accelerating later than expected. It should be compared with previous or later laps.
     Sometimes (in f1 and real world) to be found not guilty is different than not being guilty, and when somebody is so often caught in this kind of circumstances, it’s logical you get suspicious. And I’m no brit.

    However I find more worrying the doornbos-alonso incident @ hungaroring, or DC’s one than this one. At least they were getting out of a slow corner, with DC or specially Doornbos, he could’ve killed them.

    Is the telemetry data public?

  80. now itv-f1.com has a different view after analysing the images more carefull:
    "The more you look at the incident the more you realise that there was no moment when Alonso lifted or braked."

  81. As Hamilton falls further behind in the championship the more erratic his driving will become; expect him to be hitting more cars from behind as the year progresses.

  82. Come on… Hamilton made a new mistake, and that’s all!

  83. Funny how ITV plant the seeds, and never apologise for their mistakes….ie Massa yesterday and the full half hour they committed to talking about it, and Hamilton today and gawd knows how much time they talked about that…..
    Are they intent on making the personalities of the sport look unsporting?

  84. Just to add some pepper. If you look closely at the crash, hamilton´s nose has some damage from before, you can take a good view from here
    http://www1.picturepush.com/photo/a/543329/img/543329.gif
    Alonso has commented that he got hit twice by hamilton, one soft touch before the corner and second one at the exit, the big crash. Maybe Hamilton should review his driving behind a slower car, last year vettel almost got a 10 places penalty grid for something similar in Fuji

  85. IT’S TRUE… Haven’t noticed before….!!!!     left winglet is broken, and moves crazy before the real crash….

    Best words of the day: "Massa proves his critics wrong; Hamilton proves his critics right" from Vee8 – http://vee8.doctorvee.co.uk/

    Couldn’t agree more

  86. last year vettel almost got a 10 places penalty grid for something similar in Fuji

    No he didn’t.

    Where’s the damage on Hamilton’s wing supposed to be?

  87. left side of the upper wing… it’s a single piece from side to side, but left side vibrates completely wild and different of right side. (I would like to know how to say "flanear" in english, for god’s sake)

  88. Keith:
    In the images, if you look close to the left wing, in the center, it seems disattached from the center of the nose.

    For Hamilton getting a penalty when crossing the ‘kind of chicane’ it’s plain stupid. It’s very very hard to drive without front wing, and anyways he didn’t benefit from it, he was heading to pits.

  89. The penalty for vettel, i told "almost", he left Fuji with the penalty on, and in shanghai it became lifted, after a review of the incident ¿am i wrong? I´m no telling hamilton should need a penalty, but it looks as he has to think a little to avoid future problems.

    And taking ot his hand to fisichella and the super aguri, it´s not very sporting, it wasn´t his day.

    The damage, if you look closely on the left section of the wing you will see something missing, another look here
    http://img164.imageshack.us/my.php?image=426509iy2.jpg

    in that thingie over the nosecone (i don´t know the exact name in english, in spanish i´ve heard it called a bridge)

  90. I love this web but this post is a joke. Since when the person that gets hit is the one to blame?? Can We inagine a similar post if we change the roles?? Oh my god, in that case it will be so obvious that ALO had screw it… because that’s exactly what happened here, an anxious rookie trying to catch up after a disastrous start!!! (btw Keith that really deserves  a post and no this) . LH is a great pilot but he really needs to learn to calm down if things go bad.
    I hope that Renault  is not obliged to prove that ALO didn’t touch any button of LH’s car.

  91. absolutely clever image!!

  92. After a dull race this was easily the biggest story worth pursuing. I still think that regardless of the fact its central premise has been disproved by the Renault telemetry – which I am happy to acknowledge and in fact was the first to point out here (comment 60).

    After the spectacular degeneration of their relationship in 2007 it’s inevitable that people are going to wonder what will become of the Hamilton-Alonso rivalry in 2007. Only the other week Eddie Irvine posited that if Hamilton came up to lap Alonso, Alonso would try to have him off the track.

    Today they had their first run-in on the track this year. It’s pretty unusual to see one driver run into the back of another hard enough for their car to go into the air.

    And on many of the most significant instances I can think of when it’s happened, the question of whether the driver in front contributed to the accident has come up: whether it was Senna and Mansell in 1992, or Schumacher and Coulthard in 1998, or Ralf Schumacher and Villeneuve in 2001, or Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello in 2002.

    On all of those occasions you could make a legitimate argument that the driver in front contributed to the accident – if not that they caused it outright. Today it seems that was not the case. But was it worth asking the question in the first place? Absolutely.

    And Ninguen, I see it now thanks.

  93. Lewis, in a faster car, made a bad decision. End of story. He seems to get flustered and makes bad decisions when passed on track, witness Interlagos last year, and possibly Shanghai as well.

  94. my only comment is

    Fernando 1 Lewis 0

  95. Are we going to see ITV and the British press leap all over Alonso (no pun intended) every time he so much as looks sideways at Hamilton?

    It’s no secret about what happened last year. It’s also no secret that Alonso is in an inferior car this year and therefore begs the question as to why he would deliberately brake test anyone during a race – possibly scuppering his own race into the bargain – to ‘get back’ at Hamilton?

    Ludicrous suggestion if you ask me, the obvious bias from ITV’s commentary – including Brundle initially, who I expect better of – was nothing short of nauseating.

    I like Lewis, don’t get me wrong. But that doesn’t mean that he can’t make mistakes occaisonally. Sure we all have our favourites, but being objective is a skill that stands anyone in good stead.

  96. Unbelievable!!

    I read through the entire thing but got tired near the bottom end. Can’t believe people can go on such a circle that does not make sense. Alonso is trying to race the guy behind him, who happens to have a faster car. of course he did not use his brakes or eased of the gas. He tried a block maneuver, at which time Hamilton had gained just enough to zoom past him. I don’t think telemetry is needed for this incident. It is clear that he was blocking at the time Hamilton was passing, and with that commitment, it was not easy for him to avoid the incident.

    Typical unsportsmanship of Alonso. This is also representative of the Spanish, whom Alonso represents, against Lewis. I guess to prep up Lewis for more abuse in Spain soon.

    Ain’t F1 such a sport? So much drama and pressure! I still can’t tell who will win. Ferarri looks so strong now.

  97. Hamilton was otimistic.

    But Alonso , nevertheless  in full Trottle, clearly had lost the pace. If he made the manouver on time he was to be passed from the left.  He clearly change his lane and made it in the last time. It was impossible to Lewis to avoid the kick.

    But I think also that the Mosley sword regulation that spot all drivers impeding to go freely (as Brundle stile  sais), had also something to do with it.

  98. Point taken Keith, also the number of comments show how this interest people. But I still don’t understand how the one hit is the  one that has to explain. In my view this another good example of the LH’s lobby. No one is talking about his disastrous start or if he may be punished (he damaged ALO’s car in a very risk move) instead British media is assuming that this is another dirty trick of the evil ALO. I guess that this would have happened the other way round it would be so clear that this was just a brilliant intelligent move from LH while ALO would be a frustrated Spaniard…. get real Lewis makes mistakes, the sooner he and his entourage admits it the better for F1 and for himself.

  99. Toncho, I wrote such a post about Massa when he’d made serious driving mistakes in two consecutive races. If Hamilton turns the kind of performance in Barcelona that he did in Bahrain, rest assured questions will be asked.

    "I still don’t understand how the one hit is the one that has to explain." Because of the reasons I gave in my last comment. Sometimes drivers deliberately slow down to make the guy behind them go off. It may sound incredible, and dangerous, and difficult to believe, but it does happen.

  100. The evidence shows that at the time of the impact Alonso had full throttle. HOWEVER, he clearly did not apply the full trottle at the usual time at that corner. The delay was the reason why Lewis was unexepectedly much faster than Alonso and hit the back of Alsonsos car. There is no way Lewis’s car could accelerate thatmuch faster than Alosnos car.

  101. So oswald, Alonso is such a good driver that he could drive better looking at the mirror than Hamilton looking at the front. is that your point?

    I can’t see also that Alonso throtlle late or change the direction just before the collision. I can’t watch any of that in the video.

    But, in case that manouvres would happened. What’s wrong with that? Do you really expect other drivers make easy to overtake whern Hamilton is coming?. the most embarrasing part of the race was Hamilton shaking his hand to Fisichella after an overtake. Did Lewis think that Fisichella should move away just because he was in a Force India and Lewis was trying to move up?.

    Lewis had two big mistakes in all the GP (three in all the weeend).  Get over it.

  102. Keith are you a Hamilton fan?

  103. I think the fact that Symonds was willing to publish the telemetry is telling.  The brake test is a rumour that’s out of control – not helped by Brundle.  I expect Brundle to make some sort of comment, either in his column or on-air that he was wrong – perhaps even an apology.

    Of course, I wouldn’t put such a move past Alonso – but that’s another story!

  104. Keith, 100 comments on this one topic! Wow! And to think Mosley just got caught with his backside in the open less than a week ago! Alonso-Hamilton rivalry is still the hottest topic in F1 –  period.

  105. "Keith are you a Hamilton fan?" That’s what I’m wondering here too. Was that the reason why my comment was deleted? Or is it not allowed to attack fans of Hamilton?? If you consider what has been written here about Alonso at the peak times, and those things were never deleted, I’m beginning to lose my faith in the neutrality of this blog. I know it’s mostly British, but this is going too far in my opinion.

  106. "It’s an interesting situation for those of us on the pit wall, because you see an incident such as that and have to respond in terms of pulling him in, getting the car repaired, looking at fuel load options that might help him recover and so on. At the time we didn’t actually know how it all unfolded, however. People come up immediately after the race and ask, "So, was he brake-tested?" and you can’t answer. It is assumed that you are being evasive, but in truth you simply don’t know. It was only when I went into the engineers’ room and started looking at the details that I REALISED LEWIS’S UPPER FRONT WING HAD DISAPPEARED ABOUT TWO SECONDS BEFORE THE ACCIDENT, SO HE SUDDENLY LOST DOWNFORCE. WE HAVEN’T ANALYSED WHY THAT HAPPENED BUT WE SUSPECT THE STRUCTURE HAD BEEN WEAKENED BY PREVIOUS CONTACT. To be fair to Lewis it could have broken of its own accord, but that has never happened before so contact is the most likely cause. There’s certainly no evidence that Fernando did anything wrong. The impact damaged other elements of Lewis’s car apart from the wing – he just had to cope as best he could."- Martin Whitmarsh –

  107. Check this video, it shows when that part of the front wing of lewis was lost, in the start, so i think it  wouldn´t interfere in the crash, Hamilton ran one lap  without it and no problems (1:20 minutes)
    http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=nOj6E2XRGDs

    Also,  somebody realised that the  two  cars with more problems on the oil from vettel were the  two renaults Piquet spun completeley and alonso lost  the position with webber and almost with hamilton without the front wing. A mere coincidence?

  108. Ninguén, Good video! What could happened is that Lewis could ran a CLEAN lap with Fernando keeping a clear area air from his McLaren, but when he putted his car in Renault´s  vacuum, was the moment that lost downforce and without this front wing piece he can lost it even more…  

  109. KB, No I’m not a Hamilton fan. However I do think that of the drivers he gets a lot of undeserved flak, which is something I may write an article about later.

    Michael K, I don’t know about your comment can you perhaps get in touch with me via the contact form with any relevant details. It may simply have been eaten by the spam filter. If it violated the comment policy it may have been deleted for that.

    Although I reserve the right to delete comments on whatever grounds I see fit I have never deleted a comment simply because I disagreed with it. I’m really saddened to see someone who has contributed to this site on many occasions suggest I would do that.

    Can I remind everyone else that if they have any complaint about a comment to approach me via the contact form.

  110. Keith, if it serves as a good comparision, i think there is more fact to say you are more leaned towards Hamilton favoritism and bias on these Alonso-Hamilton discussions than the fact there is for Alonso doing any kind of unfair maneuver on the race, no offense intended.
    I think that on races there are a lot of "jump into the back" incidents and that this one is no different; apart from the actors and the press interest to bring this discussion in.

  111. Sorry Jaime I don’t understand any of that.

  112. I’d be interested in that Hamilton article Keith, I think there are quite a few intriguing aspects to the whole thing.  I struggle to understand the ill-feeling he’s created.  I currently live in the US so (mercifully) escape what I hear are James Allen’s inane Hamilton worship statements but I remember what he was like with Schumacher so can understand if that might be a factor in peoples resentment towards Hamilton.  Other than being blindingly quick and self assured (who wouldn’t be after a start like his?) I can’t understand what anyone might have against him.  Obviously being Spanish might give me a different viewpoint on this, certainly your Alonso contingent seem to have made their mind up about who is at fault in that (non) relationship.  Most interesting though is that he has engendered such hatred from some British F1 fans.  I’m hoping it’s not a race issue and I don’t think it is.  Looking back though Hill, Mansell and Hunt never created this sort of ill-feeling.  I think that’s because they were always underdogs, whereas Hamilton is just plainly a fast driver, rather than skin colour.  We finally have our Schumacher, Tiger Woods, Carl Lewis etc and it perhaps doesn’t sit well with the Brits.

    It may be that the British F1 fan base likes its drivers to have a few flaws and be forced to battle their way to the championships, Hamilton just found F1 a bit easy and that upsets them.

    A question occurred to me the other day.  We know that all champions eventually face the young upstart who challenges and goes on to defeat them.  Senna had his Schumacher and Schumacher in his turn had his Alonso and so it goes.  There’s usually a large age difference though and we get to see a fascinating battle between experience and race craft versus sheer speed and driving ability.  Not this time though, they were both in their prime.  Has there been a previous example in F1 where a driver has gone from such a high (back to back world championships, clearly at the top of the tree) to being beaten by such an upstart (first year rookie driver)?  And has it happened when the reigning champion is still at the height of his powers, as Alonso is, rather than at the twilight of their career like, arguably, Senna and Schumacher were? 

    I couldn’t think of an example but I only really started watching F1 in the mid 90s…….

  113. Phil that is a wonderful question. I would suggest that Alain Prost was at the peak of his powers when Senna took him on.  And that is just for starters, what about maybe Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi. By the way, you are right about the TV coverage. I would be a fan of Hamilton if he wasn’t rammed in my face every two minutes as the golden child and ‘the one most worthy’.

  114. I thought about Prost and Senna and it’s definitely arguable but I discounted that as an example because Prost (still on zero world championships by then) wasn’t established when Senna arrived in F1 (1984) in the way that Alonso (with two world championships) was when Hamilton arrived.  Plus they weren’t really battling each other straight away were they?  I just checked and it seems that Senna didn’t finish better than 3rd in the championship until he won it four years later in 1988.

    Stewart and Fittipaldi, yeah I think you might be right.  It took Fittipaldi a few seasons to place higher, rather than as a rookie  like Hamilton, but he did do it when Stewart was clearly still at the top of his game.  So that one is definitely close.

    TV: I don’t envy you.  Apart from the fact that the Speed TV commentator  (The Brit, David something) is an idiot and sounds like one half of Smashie and Nicey I’ve been reasonably happy with their Allen-free coverage.  I’ll be back in the UK for the 2009 season so was glad to hear the BBC were picking it up but was disappointed to read that they aren’t taking Brundle.  I’ve really liked some of his commentary.

  115. Fernando Alonso Fan
    8th April 2008, 8:45

    Hamilton´s fault, must be penalised…., thanks

  116. Alonso, 100% throttle…. thats all im going to say..

  117. Scott Joslin
    8th April 2008, 17:10

    Guys, if you go onto F1.com and watch the video montage of the race, it shows some interesting footage of Lewis damaging his wing on the first lap. First of all he runs in to the back of alonso at turn 4 on Lap 1, then accelerating away from there you see the top plane of the wing fly up off the car. This could support the argument that when Lewis was in Fernando’s slip stream  leading up to the incident, that the Mclaren had ultimately less drag than the Renault and lead to the bigger than normal difference in speed on the straight.

  118. Scott Joslin
    8th April 2008, 17:12

    Still…. Lewis has eyes though and should have seen he was about to mount another car….!

  119. At least Lews tried to create a two brand new ways of how to overtake in Formula 1. First he tried THROUGH Alonso and after OVER Alonso… GO LEWIS, GO!

  120. here it is an animated gif of the first touch between them
    http://i30.tinypic.com/2d0f3o0.gif
    Now i´m beguinning to think hamilton should be penalised, once it could be a race incident, twice it´s a recurring incident you didn´t want to manage with, if he doesn´t know how to steer away from a car in front of you, or brake before having an accident he shouldn´t be in f-1, I think a 5 grid penalty would meake him think twice next time

  121. Coulthard is a reference in crach controversy, only 3 GP and he crashed with massa and button, last year he was over Wurz which is a really new way of getting pass !

  122. James Steventon
    20th April 2008, 7:00

    Alonso can deny all he wants to, but whether he is guilty or not, there will always be suspicion. All he can do is ignore it and continue to develop what is a terribly poor Renault F1 car.
    As for Lewis Hamilton, the real damage to his Bahrain Grand Prix was done at the start. The crash with Alonso only compounded matters.
    In many ways it was identical to last year’s race in Brazil. Hamilton had a poor start, and then compounded it with a desperate lunge that took him off the race circuit. 
    The good thing about what happened, was the way in which both parties have handled themselves. I was fully expecting Hamilton or Ron Dennis to publicly slam Alonso for the accident, but both Hamilton and Dennis responded professionally and with dignity. Alonso too, kept his words brief and to the point.
    One thing is for certain, this kind of situation will happen again. Think Schumacher/Hill, Mansell/Piquet or Prost/Senna. The events of last year will stay with these two drivers, believe me!  

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