If Lewis Hamilton does not pay heed to the warnings about the overly-combative nature of his driving and rein some of his aggression in, he will pay the price through penalties in upcoming races, warns the 2008 F1 World Champion's ex team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton's fierce on-track battles during the opening four outings of 2010 have enthralled fans and infinitely brightened up what might otherwise have been a fairly dull spectacle, but not everybody has been quite so appreciative of the British star's efforts.
In the wake of his energetic scrap with Vitaly Petrov in the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang – during which he weaved vigorously across the circuit in front of the feisty young Russian rookie to make sure of keeping him behind after getting past – the eleven-time race-winner was criticised by Renault for having crossed what they deemed to be the line of acceptable on-track behaviour.
A fortnight later in Shanghai, Hamilton found himself hauled up before the race stewards in company with Red Bull Racing rival Sebastian Vettel for the pair's pit-lane spat in the Chinese Grand Prix – an incident that saw the two title rivals come perilously close to clashing both on the entry to the pits and then again as they exited from their respective stops.
F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello has been particularly vocal in his condemnation of the 25-year-old's tactics – revealing that had he been in Petrov's place, he would have given Hamilton 'some bollocking' – but to-date there have been no ramifications. Alonso – who endured a famously fiery and ultimately self-destructive relationship with the Stevenage-born ace at McLaren three years ago – contends that should the forcefulness continue, it will only be a matter of time before there are.
“I don't think Hamilton is in any kind of privileged position,” the Ferrari star told Spanish sports newspaper Marca
when asked if his former arch-nemesis is receiving special treatment from the FIA with regards to the lack of sanctions so far.
“The truth is that perhaps the decisions have been a little inconsistent, because other times [Hamilton's moves] would be punishable, but I don't think it's important. Lewis has had some warnings and if he does something in the next race, however little, there will be penalties because of the last two races.”