Fernando Alonso wasn’t brake testing Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi, he was trying to get the Mercedes driver to go ahead of him into the DRS detection point.
That’s according to former F1 driver Martin Brundle, who called the move “rather sketchy to say the least”.
Hamilton was irate with Alonso at the season finale in Abu Dhabi when the Aston Martin driver suddenly braked after coming out of the pits.
Martin Brundle: It all looked rather sketchy, to say the least
The Mercedes driver told his team over the radio: “He just brake tested me. I got brake tested. Like way before the braking zone.”
The stewards investigated Alonso for erratic driving but decided no further action was necessary.
Hamilton wasn’t letting it go and told the media including PlanetF1.com: “We were flat out, 400 metres, 300 metres before the corner. I was doing 180 miles an hour and the guy all of a sudden slowed down massively.”
Alonso, though, shrugged it off, saying: “Lewis is obviously very clever, understands the sport really good, and has a lot of experience. But I have more!”
He added: “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.
“But yeah, in both cases I won, so it’s okay!”
But while the Spaniard thinks it was no big deal, former F1 driver turned commentator Brundle reckons it was a “sketchy” move.
It, though, wasn’t a brake test.
“There was a strange incident when Fernando Alonso emerged from the pits and appeared to heavily brake test Lewis, which caught him off guard,” he said in his Sky Sports column.
“Fernando was hoping to let Lewis through the DRS detection point first ready for the long straights, but it all looked rather sketchy, to say the least.”
Alonso finished the Grand Prix in seventh place, which secured fourth place in the Drivers’ standings, while a “dejected Lewis Hamilton”, as Brundle put it, ultimately finished the Grand Prix in ninth place.
But his “couple of important world championship points, would help keep his team in second place in the Constructors’ Championship,” said the Briton.
Mercedes beat Ferrari to second place in the standings by three points.