Alonso apologizes to Hamilton: “Lewis is a champion, he’s a legend of our time”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Fernando Alonso says he doesn’t truly believe Lewis Hamilton “only knows how to drive and start in first” and adds that the facts prove “completely the opposite”.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were involved in a collision at Les Combes on lap 1 of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Alonso immediately went on the radio and called Hamilton “an idiot”, and added “this guy only knows how to drive and start in first”.

After the race Lewis accepted the blame for the incident, but in response to Alonso’s comments, he said it was “nice to know how he feels about me”.

When asked about the Spaniard’s words by Brazilian media, Lewis also added that the two of them “had different results in our careers”.

Ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix, Alonso was asked by the media if he has regretted his comments.

“First of all, Lewis is a champion, he’s a legend of our time,” the Spaniard said.

“And then when you say something, and I’m sorry to repeat this, against a British driver, there is huge media involvement after that.

“They’ve been saying a lot of things to Checo [Sergio Perez], to Carlos [Sainz], to me. If you say something to a Latin driver, everything’s 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.

“I don’t think that there was much to blame in that moment, to be honest, looking at the replays and everything, because it’s a first-lap incident, we are all very close together.”

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Alonso also completely dismissed his comments that Lewis only know how to drive when he starts from P1.

“No, no, no, I don’t believe [that]. I mean, it’s not that I believe or don’t believe, there are facts that it is not that way. So it’s something that you say in the heat of the moment.

“But as I said, nothing that I said is true, or there are facts that are completely the opposite. So I have huge respect.”

He revealed he has not yet apologized to Lewis, but plans on doing so.

“I will hopefully when we are doing the TV pen I will approach him and say sorry if he understood in that way. I have absolutely no problems with him. And as I said, I have huge respect for him.”

The two-time champion then explained how these types of comments can come out in the heat of the moment.

“The heat of the moment and the adrenaline of the moment, fighting for finally top two, top three, made me say those comments that I should not say.

“But at the same time, as I said also after the race, I said that it was a race incident in my opinion.

“When you say something on the radio, in that moment, you think that you are talking with your engineer, so you are preparing the strategy. Obviously, you should be aware that is broadcast.

“But it’s like if someone makes a hard tackle or something in football, in that moment you say something to your teammate, or your defender or wherever, that is not broadcast.”

He added he will refrain from talking on the team radio in the future, to avoid similar incidents.

“Sure. I will be very quiet in the radio. It’s a sport that has this thing that is broadcast, things that you should be in a little bit of privacy with your team.

“So yeah, I will try to be quiet always in the radio, and don’t be part of a show that I don’t agree with.”

Asked if drivers’ radio messages should be broadcast at all, Alonso said:

“I don’t think so, as I said, that is the only sport, in football, in tennis, in whatever, you can have your moments of privacy with your team, and you prepare everything.

“But I know that this is part of the show, and as I said, all the things that are broadcast in the radio normally are a little bit spicy, because the sport wants that spice into the race.

“They never said go to diff position five, because it’s not interesting. And it’s what we talk every lap. I understand that.

“And unfortunately, the measure that you will have to take to avoid broadcasting things that you are not thinking on in the heat of the moment is to stay quiet all the time,” the Spaniard concluded.

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