Despite his 'official' post-race statement claiming that he acknowledged the tough battle with team-mate and title rival Fernando Alonso would lead to hard racing between them, Lewis Hamilton's later comments clearly showed that he was aggrieved by the Spaniard's opening lap manoeuvre at Spa-Francorchamps.

Starting from the second row of the grid after being-classed by Ferrari in qualifying, the two McLarens came close to touching on the run to the remodelled La Source hairpin after Alonso veered across the track towards Hamilton. After then ducking back to the inside to make the most of a gap exploited by poleman Kimi Raikkonen, Alonso found himself running wide towards the Briton for a second time, with the championship leader being forced to take to the run-off in avoidance.

The wider exit actually gave Hamilton more momentum through Eau Rouge, but Alonso held both his nerve and third position as the pack crested the hill. While the action proved thrilling for spectators and television viewers, however, Hamilton revealed that he had not been too impressed with Alonso's antics.

"I started to accelerate and, all of a sudden, Fernando came sweeping across me, and he knew I was there, so...," the 22-year old told journalists in the paddock, "For someone that's always complaining about people doing unfair manoeuvres, and wanting to be fair, and someone I look up to, he has gone and swiped me and pushed me as wide as he could. I was just really lucky there was a run-off area so I could take that."

Team boss Ron Dennis, also determined not to show any favouritism to either driver following last week's World Motor Sport Council hearing, described the move as 'hard but fair', but Hamilton would only concur with half of the assessment.

"I wouldn't say fair, but it was hard," he concluded, "I felt there was enough room for all of us to get around but, somehow, I ran out of road. It is up to you to decide how that happened..."

Dennis said that had seen nothing wrong with Alonso's actions, and insisted that the incident would not cause another rift between the two drivers, who have endured a frosty relationship at times this season, after Hamilton proved to be an instant title contender.

"It was a little bit on the edge, they will have a conversation about it and then they will move on," Dennis told reporters, "This is just one of those things, pushing on each other. They are fighting for the world championship, they are going to be a little bit tough on each other. But it's nothing."

 

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