Hamilton Sees Unending Feud With Alonso
Topics: McLaren, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso
August 15, 2007
The heat is rising at McLaren Mercedes. Not only because it is leading F1’s constructors’ championship standing by 19 points against Ferrari, the closest rival, but because of the hyped feud between its drivers – Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
Earlier, the 22-year-old Briton rookie admitted he cannot see an end to his feud with teammate Alonso. The Briton's sensational debut season in F1 has reportedly left the two-time world champion feeling unwanted by McLaren and the 26-year-old Spaniard is not speaking to his teammate after a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session last week.
While the Briton disobeyed team orders telling him to let Alonso through on the track, the Spaniard held Hamilton up in the pits for ten seconds thus putting an end to his chances of claiming pole position. Eventually, Alonso was given a five-place grid penalty for impeding Hamilton. The Briton, meanwhile, went on to win the race and extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship. McLaren was also punished by not crediting its 15 points at the Budapest race due to its drivers' behavior.
Hamilton is not surprised there has been friction. "When you have two very competitive people in a team, probably the two most competitive people around, and who both want to win, it puts the team under pressure," Hamilton said. "It's just extremely hard for everyone to play fair and make it easy. That's why sometimes it appears one driver is favored over the other. That's why sometimes I feel he is favored and vice versa."
"Because of the problems we are having with the FIA and Ferrari, it's just more pressure on the team," Hamilton said. "The comforting thing is we have all this stuff going on, even at the weekend, and yet we weren't distracted from our job. I learned a lot from the weekend, about my team, how strong they are to deal with all the issues that are going on right now. It's daunting for all of us, but I don't believe any other team could cope with it better. It's a tough time for the whole team, but it's not distracting us, which is the main thing.”
What could pave the way for the reconciliation of McLaren’s dynamic duo? Former F1 Champ Alan Jones said that the team’s boss needs to bring drivers into line before their rivalry hurts McLaren title campaign.
"If you are operating a multi-million dollar operation and you're going for the world championship, then if you are the boss you are entitled to call the shots," Jones told The Observer. "Ron has got to get his drivers back into some sort of order. You can't just go on for the rest of the season with all this going on. You have these highly talented guys and, while they will want to do their own thing and not become puppets, there has to be some sort of arrangement. They might agree that there is no arrangement - if you know what I mean - but they have to sit down and establish a game plan. It's like cricket.”
Despite speculations that Alonso’s days at McLaren are numbered and that the Spaniard might get out of the Mercedes Benz Door and enter another F1 team or reunite with Renault, it was already made clear that the team is not pushing him away.
"The captain will instruct his guys to do something for the betterment of that team and for the end result, which is victory. That is not doing anything for the benefit of one individual; it's for the benefit of that team winning," Jones concluded.
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