Fernando Alonso has offered something of a cheeky response to accusations of brake testing from Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, brushing it off after the race.
Hamilton felt his long-time sparring partner deliberately braked a long time before the Turn 5 hairpin at Yas Marina as the Mercedes driver emerged from the pit lane mid-race, leading to an FIA investigation for erratic driving before they decided on no further action.
Hamilton believed Alonso slowed down well before the corner, leading him to change direction unnaturally, while Alonso himself referenced a long-held
Fernando Alonso: ‘Lewis Hamilton has a lot of experience, but I have more!’
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Asked for his view of the incident, Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com after the race: “Well, we were flat out at 400 metres, 300 metres before the corner and doing 180 miles an hour and the guy all of a sudden slowed down drastically ahead of me.”
Alonso did not share the same view as his former McLaren team-mate, acknowledging the gamesmanship of trying to gain the DRS advantage down the long back straight after the hairpin.
Having had a similar moment over a decade ago in Montreal, Alonso referenced that moment in his defence of why he chose to slow down, but joked that he “won” in both moments against his former colleague.
Asked by PlanetF1.com for his response over accusations from Hamilton that he had brake tested him at Turn 5, Alonso said with a smile: “Nothing.
“Lewis obviously is very clever, understands the sport really, really good and has a lot of experience, but I have more.”
When pressed and asked if he was surprised to hear Hamilton’s complaints over team radio, Alonso replied: “Yes and no.
“I mean, we did the same in Canada I think in 2012 so, 11 years after that episode, we tried just to give the DRS to the other guy braking for Turn 5.
Alonso crossed the line seventh in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Aston Martin, while Hamilton finished ninth for Mercedes as they narrowly secured second in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of Ferrari.