Alonso denies blame for Hamilton crash

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. Architrion said on 6th April 2008, 23:42

    absolutely clever image!!

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th April 2008, 23:47

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Rabi said on 7th April 2008, 2:32

    my only comment is

    Fernando 1 Lewis 0

  5. Pink Peril said on 7th April 2008, 3:44

    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.

  6. oswald said on 7th April 2008, 4:15

    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.

  7. Brar Soler said on 7th April 2008, 5:04

    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.

  8. Toncho said on 7th April 2008, 8:02

    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.

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 7th April 2008, 8:13

    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.

  10. F1 Dude said on 7th April 2008, 8:49

    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.

  11. frecon said on 7th April 2008, 9:34

    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.

  12. Keith are you a Hamilton fan?

  13. 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!

  14. NDINYO said on 7th April 2008, 14:02

    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.

  15. Michael K said on 7th April 2008, 15:17

    "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.

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