Lewis Hamilton said he was “grateful to still be alive” but admitted he was at fault after crashing out of the Belgium Grand Prix having hit Fernando Alonso on the opening lap.
The crash launched Hamilton’s car into the air and the damage forced the British driver to retire from the race. Alonso called him “an idiot” for the incident — to which the seven-time champion responded by saying he would refuse to talk to the Spaniard.
Hamilton and Alonso had both started well in the race, which was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, but Hamilton went to make a pass at Les Combes and the pair clashed. It was deemed a racing incident but Alonso launched an attack over the radio.
“What an idiot closing the door from the outside,” he said. “We had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.” The Spaniard said later: “Why does he close the door? I just don’t understand.”
Hamilton said: “Looking back at the footage he was in my blind spot, I didn’t give him enough space. It is my fault. Just, so sorry to the team. I could not see him. I am sorry to the team and I need to recuperate and get back on the treadmill.”
When informed of Alonso’s comments and asked if he would speak to him, Hamilton’s response was blunt. “No. I would have until I heard what he said. I know that’s how things feel in the heat of the moment, but it’s nice to know how he feels about me.”
The incident ultimately ended Hamilton’s race as he was forced to retire on the next lap. Alonso went on to take fifth place. But Hamilton was happy to have walked away from a heavy impact when his car landed.
“I remember looking at the ground, it was definitely high up. I’m grateful to be still alive and in shape,” he said.