London: Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton has dismissed Fernando Alonso’s complaints about him after Sunday’s European Grand Prix as ‘sour grapes’ from the Ferrari driver.
The Spaniard branded the race in Valencia ‘manipulated’ in his former McLaren team mate’s favour after the Briton effectively paid no penalty for illegally passing the safety car.
Although the stewards handed Hamilton a drive-through penalty, they delayed so long that he was able to take it without losing second place.
Double world champion Alonso, who had been behind him in third place at the time of the incident, ended up eighth and furious that he had lost out.
Hamilton, who had a notable falling out with Alonso at McLaren in 2007, agreed when asked by British newspaper reporters whether he felt it was just sour grapes.
“I even saw him (Alonso) overtaken by a Sauber on the big screen. It is very unlike him to be overtaken by a Sauber so he must have been completely in another world.
“I don’t understand why I affected his race so much. Everyone has a right to their opinions. He must just be disappointed with his own result but I didn’t do anything to him,” he added.
Hamilton, who has had some notable run-ins with race stewards in the past, praised the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA).
“The FIA are doing an incredible job because they are allowing us to race this year,” he said.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told the Ferrari website (www.ferrari.com) that he was very concerned by what had happened.
“Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules,” he declared.
“Meanwhile those who didn’t follow the rules were penalised by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them.
“That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula One,” Montezemolo said.
“We are sure that the FIA will fully analyse what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.”