Hamilton and Alonso fizzing in Hungary

In the highly charged world of Formula One, it is perhaps unsurprising that tempers should flare. But, following the shenanigans in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, McLaren team boss Ron Dennis clearly has to deal with a feud between his two drivers.

It seems clear that World Champion Fernando Alonso was as surprised as anyone in Formula One when young Lewis Hamilton appeared on the scene and started winning races. Not so surprising, perhaps, since Lewis Hamilton - more than any other driver before him - has been groomed for years for his Formula One career.


Lewis Hamilton - altercation during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix

I have not had the pleasure to meet Lewis Hamilton, but those who have speak of him as being an absolute gentleman and utterly charming. It sounds like the charm facade slipped during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The row that has been simmering between the Brit and the Spaniard can be traced back to the Monaco Grand Prix in May. But in Hungary it reached a new level.

The trigger apparently was Hamilton not following instructions to allow his McLaren Mercedes team-mate past at the start of the final qualifying session. He subsequently apologised for his actions, which he took because of concern that he might compromise his own position.

In retaliation Alonso waited ten seconds before leaving the pits, where he had been getting new tyres. This delay meant that Hamilton, who was queued up behind, was unable to get out for a final fast lap and the chance to improve his grid position. The race stewards penalised Alonso by dropping him five places down the start grid. More seriously for the drivers' employer, they decided to deny McLaren any points they might win for in the constructors' championship from the race.

Lewis Hamilton went on to take the chequered flag and win the third race in his first year in Formula One. A fuming Alonso finished fourth.



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