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Lewis Hamilton suspects that former team-mate Fernando Alonso’s comments during the European Grand Prix were an over-dramatic emotional reaction to on-track events in Valencia. Following the race, Ferrari expressed their fury over the Englishman’s actions as well as heavily criticising the FIA’s race stewards.
Video evidence confirms that Hamilton did overtake the Safety Car after passing the line which marks the official end of the pit lane; for this the McLaren driver was handed a drive-through penalty although Ferrari – the only team to have seen its car have to circulate behind the Safety Car for a full lap, without choice – claimed that the Englishman’s penalty was handed out at a meaningless part of the race.
“That is good to know,” Hamilton responded when told about Alonso’s comments, broadcast to television viewers via team radio feed. “Well, it is all down to the point that you do the job that you have to do.
“I was told that I had to pit (drive-through penalty); I made the gap, pushed as hard as I could, pulled out some of the fastest laps and was able to increase the gap from the guys behind - and I did my penalty: A drive-through is quite a long time - moving down the pit lane at 60kph (37mph) - and I came out still ahead of the others, so I don’t think that’s unfair. This is racing and these are the rules.”
With Ferrari having described Hamilton’s penalty situation as ‘very unfair’ as well as claiming the race was ‘manipulated’, Hamilton reacted to Alonso’s in-race comments, as the former double World Champion cleared asked how many positions Hamilton had lost as a result of his punishment.
“I think he’s probably reacting emotionally,” Hamilton continued before raising his concerns over a glass bottle lying on-track, rumoured in the paddock to have been thrown onto the road at Turn 11 by an angered Spanish race fan:
“You always keep your eyes on the track and I saw it there in the middle of the road, thinking that, ‘If you hit that bottle at that speed there are all kind of things that could happen’. I could have hit it and it would have been propelled towards the guy behind me - just as we saw last year in Hungary with Felipe (Massa), so that was really quite dangerous.”
- ‘Very bitter taste’ left at Ferrari
- Alonso slams ‘manipulated’ race
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