Lewis Hamilton has admitted a brutal crash with former teammate Fernando Alonso was his fault during wild scenes at the Belgian GP.
Max Verstappen continued his F1 dominance and took the chequered flag on Sunday 17.8 seconds ahead of his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez, with Spaniard Carlos Sainz a distant third in his Ferrari after starting on pole.
However, with Verstappen so far ahead of the pack, plenty of the drama occurred at the beginning of the race.
Alpine's Alonso and Mercedes' Hamilton slotted into second and third at the start of the race.
Alonso and Hamilton haven't always shared a warm relationship and tension once again hit boiling point at the Les Combes chicane.
Hamilton attempted to overtake Alonso, but clipped the Spaniard's wheel and ended up airborne for a brief moment.
The seven-time world champion landed in front of Alonso, before the Spaniard let rip over the team radio.
"What an idiot!" Alonso said to his team.
"Closing the door from the outside.
"I mean, we have a mega start, but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first."
Hamilton ran over the rumble strips, and attempted to soldier on, but water was pouring out of his terminally-wounded machine.
The Mercedes driver was ordered by his team to stop.
Lewis Hamilton's candid response to Fernando Alonso dig
Hamilton returned to his team and said he watched the replay of the incident.
The seven-time world champ showed his class and took responsibility for the mistake at the Les Combes chicane.
"It's definitely my fault. I didn't see him," Hamilton said.
"I've apologised. he was in my blind spot. So it's unfortunate."
The reporter then relayed what Alonso had said to his team after the crash, but Hamilton didn't want to entertain the question.
"It doesn't really matter what he said. I don't care," Hamilton said.
— LH44 - Holland (@LH44_Holland) August 28, 2022
However, more than an hour after the crash, Hamilton addressed Alonso's comments with a cheeky swipe.
"I know how things go in the heat of the moment, but it is nice to know how he feels about me, and it is better that it is out in the open about how he feels,” said Hamilton.
“I nearly broke my back coming down. I am grateful to still be alive and in shape. I am sure I will feel sore tomorrow.
“The incident wasn’t intentional. I take responsibility for it. That is what adults do. We move on.”
Alonso later dismissed the incident as a 'mistake' and agreed with the stewards not to penalise Hamilton.
However, many labelled the incident 'disgraceful', while others also slammed Alonso for his comments in the heat of the moment.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) August 28, 2022
Hamilton’s fault but Alonso’s comments were unneccesary and a bit disrespectful. Although I also think it was mostly due to the ‘heat of the moment’ pic.twitter.com/y1sdllHaKB
— F1 Content (@formula1content) August 28, 2022
Please, can someone appreciate Fernando Alonso finishing P5 while carrying a damage from lap 1 collusion of Hamilton who went in Berserk mode? pic.twitter.com/UthjBSNkkv
— Fernando Alonso updates (@startonpole) August 28, 2022
After all these years…Alonso still with his ego hurt since 2007. Disgraceful and sad comments after crashing against Hamilton. #BelgianGP
— Alexandre Krauss (@AlexandreKrausz) August 28, 2022
Alonso on Hamilton
'This guy only knows how to drive and start in first'
— Matt Gallagher (@MattyWTF1) August 28, 2022
— Gregg 🏴 (@GreggC_CC) August 28, 2022
Alonso was never going to let Hamilton go round the outside of him, saw that coming alllll day long
— Matt Gallagher (@MattyWTF1) August 28, 2022
hamilton and alonso’s relationship hasn’t grown stronger after today
— ᴛᴇssᴀ (@schumaxiardo) August 28, 2022
On Alonso's quote... Hamilton is only driver in the last decade to have won a race from 14th on the grid or lower.
Max Verstappen pretty likely will be ending that streak today. https://t.co/0XqtKsQOf0
— Nate Saunders (@natesaundersF1) August 28, 2022
Verstappen, meanwhile, was unstoppable.
"It's been a weekend I couldn't imagine before," he said. "But we want more of them... we'll see next weekend what we can do."
The win was Verstappen's ninth from 14 races so far this season and put him a massive 93 points clear of Perez, who moves into second place overall behind his team mate with eight rounds remaining.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started one place behind Verstappen in 15th after collecting similar engine and gearbox-related grid drops, finished fifth on the road but was demoted to sixth after a penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
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