Sport Brawn saw no issue with Alonso's 'tough' defence against Hamilton
Alonso blames McLaren for tense Hamilton rivalry
Fernando Alonso has laid the blame squarely at the feet of McLaren for how his and Lewis Hamilton's relationship at the team unravelled in 2007. © PA Images fernando-alonso-lewis-hamilton-monaco-grand-prix-2007-planetf1 Alonso arrived at the team after winning the last two World Championships with Renault, alongside a rookie Hamilton who appeared on the podium in each of his first nine races at McLaren, which defied the initial thoughts of the Spaniard heading to McLaren as a de facto number one driver.
Ross Brawn says Fernando Alonso’s “tough” defensive driving when battling Lewis Hamilton in the Hungarian Grand Prix was “brilliant” to watch, despite the Mercedes driver’s complaints.
Hamilton was pumping in a series of fast laps following his third and final pitstop when he closed in on Alonso in fourth place, knowing he still had a shot of a victory.
While he had much fresher tyres than Alonso, Hamilton was unable to find a way past the Spaniard for 10 laps, which would prove crucial in Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon’s shock maiden Formula 1 win.
Mercedes ‘should have stopped Hamilton two laps later’
Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott believes the team made a mistake by pitting Lewis Hamilton on lap 47 in Hungary. © PA Images Lewis-Hamilton-Aramco Hamilton dropped from first to last after the race restarted following an earlier red flag, with Mercedes making the call to pit him a lap later than the rest of the pack, creating the strange scene of Hamilton launching off the grid solo. Already the team have admitted this was the wrong choice, but it was not the only pit-stop of the afternoon Mercedes were left regretting.
In successive laps Hamilton tried to overtake Alonso around the outside at Turn 2 and Turn 4, only for the Alpine driver to position his car perfectly to keep Hamilton at bay.
The seven-time world champion complained about Alonso’s aggressive moves at one point over team radio, but the stewards did not see any reason to intervene.
Brawn, who is F1’s managing director of motorsport, relished the fight between both world champions, and felt Alonso’s moves didn’t overstep the mark.
“I’m glad Fernando won Driver of the Day, because I want to give him my vote as well,” Brawn wrote in regular his post-race column.
“It was a great performance. One of the Alpine drivers was going to get this award and it probably swung from Esteban to Fernando with that battle.
Alonso ‘100% crucial’ in ensuring Ocon victory
Esteban Ocon took the victory but Fernando Alonso was "100 percent, undoubtedly crucial" for that says Alpine sporting director Alan Permane. © PA Images Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso Ocon was the big winner in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix as the Frenchman found himself P1 after the red flag, benefitting from Valtteri Bottas’ lap 1 carnage and Lewis Hamilton’s decision to line up on the grid at the restart when all his remaining rivals pitted for slick tyres.
“What you see when Fernando is involved in F1 are incredibly tough battles, but you always know he is going to be fair.
“I know Lewis was moaning a bit at one stage about Fernando’s defence, but I didn’t think it was a problem. Fernando was tough and fair and always gave just about enough space, which is what you have to do.
“It was a brilliant battle and hopefully a taste of what is to come in the second half of the season.”
Hamilton would eventually find a way past his former McLaren team-mate, but only after Alonso made a small error at Turn 1.
Speaking about the battle after the race, Hamilton, who finished third on the road before being promoted to second following Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification, felt Alonso’s driving had been “on the limit”.
“It really, really was fantastic,” Hamilton said. “I wish the cars could follow closer and [I’m] excited for what the cars are like next year. Hopefully that eradicates a lot of that bad drafting that we have here.
“It’s a really difficult circuit to overtake on in general, and to follow, particularly in that last sector, but great, great wheel-to-wheel battles. It literally was wheel-to-wheel at least once. I don’t really have much more to say about it.
“When you’re racing against a two-time world champion, he probably is one of the hardest drivers, but fair. I’d say today was a little bit on the limit.”
Damon Hill praises Lewis Hamilton: "No unsportsman's action yet" .
© Motorsport Images Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton enthused the masses in Silverstone of the World Cup duel 2021 in Formula 1 between Max Stipen and Lewis Hamilton is when Great Britain GP in Silverstone for the first time Escalated for the first time: both collided in round 1 of the race. Red-bull pilot stood off and landed in the hospital, Mercedes driver Hamilton won the race. Afterwards, ex-world champion Damon Hill had great respect for his compatriot.