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Formula 1 Belgian GP

FIA explains why Hamilton was not penalised for Alonso Belgian GP clash

The FIA has explained why Lewis Hamilton was not penalised for the opening lap clash that upset Fernando Alonso at Formula 1’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, battles with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Alonso was left furious after he and his Mercedes rival came together at Les Combes on the opening lap of the Spa-Francorchamps race as they battled for second spot.

Hamilton had got a run on Alonso up the Kemmel Straight and moved to the outside in a bid to get a slingshot past him.

After getting ahead on the entry to the first right hander at Les Combes, Hamilton closed the door on Alonso, who had nowhere to go, and the pair came together – with the Mercedes being flicked up in to the air.

While Alonso was able to continue, Hamilton’s car had suffered damage and, as the result of a suspected water leak, he was advised to stop later around the lap.

Alonso was far from impressed with Hamilton’s driving, and hit out on team radio at the lack of awareness of the Briton when racing against other cars.

“What an idiot closing the door from the outside,” said Alonso. “We had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive starting first.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13, the remainder of the field at the start

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13, the remainder of the field at the start

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

While the FIA stewards did investigate the incident, they deemed that neither driver was to blame as it was put down to being a typical kind of crash that can happen on the opening lap as cars jostle for position.

A statement issued by the FIA said: “The Stewards reviewed the video evidence and determined that Alonso was on the inside at turn 5.

“Hamilton’s front wheels were ahead of Alonso’s at the entry to the corner. Alonso moved his car off line to the inside with both right side tyres fully on the kerb and even somewhat inside the kerb.

“At no point did Alonso appear to lose control or understeer. Hamilton turned into towards the apex of the corner with Alonso still alongside and the collision occurred.

“The Stewards considered that this was a first lap incident with a lot of movement relative to other cars in the first few corners, and thus take no further action.”

Hamilton was later warned for not attending the medical centre immediately after his accident.

The FIA said: "The Stewards received a report from the Race Director that driver Hamilton refused to visit the Event Medical Service following his crash on Lap 1 where the Medical Warning Light threshold was exceeded and only did so after the Race Director informed the team that further action could be taken if he did not.

"This is not the first time this season that drivers (not Hamilton) have initially refused to go for a medical check.

"The Stewards issue a warning in this case, with a reminder to all drivers that stronger action may be taken in the future."

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