F1 2010 World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton
has affirmed that he has now completely cleared the air with former McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Fernando Alonso
in the wake of the explosive safety car controversy in Valencia and the pair's subsequent very public war of words through the media.
In the immediate aftermath of the European Grand Prix, Alonso argued that the result of the race had been 'manipulated' given that he was more heavily punished for obediently respecting the rules whilst Hamilton – who illegally overtook the safety car on his way around to the pits for new tyres – effectively got off scot-free due to the stewards' lengthy deliberations and what Ferrari
regarded as an excessively lenient drive-through penalty.
The Briton took the chequered flag second; the Spaniard was ultimately classified just eighth. The fierce rivals had been racing each other closely on-track prior to the safety car's intervention.
A 'bitter' Ferrari
described what had happened as a 'scandal' and an 'injustice', whilst Alonso claimed that the bottle that appeared on the circuit mid-race – posing a genuine safety concern until it was removed by a marshal – was a sign of fans' 'disgust' at the developments.
Hamilton subsequently went on to accuse the man with whom he had endured such a famously acrimonious and ultimately destructive relationship back in 2007 of suffering from 'sour grapes' – but like Alonso, the 2008 F1 World Champion has since mellowed his stance, reflecting that 'we're all feeling the pressure... and when you put your whole heart and passion into it you are not always correct with what you say' [see separate story – click here
] and revealing that the two have now contacted one another to put the matter behind them.
“We are in touch – he has my number and I have his number,” the 25-year-old confirmed. “I just messaged him to see how he was doing and he said everything's cool. He knows how the racing world works, and this is a tough year.”