Lewis Hamilton took the blame for a first-lap collision of champions with Fernando Alonso that ended the Briton’s Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Alpine’s Alonso had called the most successful F1 driver of all time an “idiot” who “only knows how to drive and start in first (place)” after the pairmade contact while fighting for second.
Hamilton told Sky Sports television he did not care what the Spaniard had said.
“Looking back at the footage, he was in my blind spot and I didn’t leave him enough space so it was my fault today,” he said, apologising to the team.
“I couldn’t see him actually, he was right in my blind spot.”
Double world champion Alonso had lined up third on the grid for his Renault-owned team, with seven-times champion Hamilton alongside.
Alonso made a great start to seize second from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez while Hamilton moved up to third and tried to overtake the Spaniard, turning across after edging half a car length clear.
They collided, Hamilton’s Mercedes lifting high into the air and clattering across the kerbs before parking up beside the track — ending his record of finishing every race this year.
“What an idiot, closing the door from the outside,” exclaimed Alonso over the radio of his former McLaren team mate.
“We had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.”
Stewards investigated the incident and decided to take no further action.
They said a review of video evidence showed Alonso was on the inside at turn five but Hamilton’s front wheels were ahead of the Spaniard’s at the entry to the corner.
“At no point did Alonso appear to lose control or understeer,” they added. “Hamilton turned in towards the apex of the corner with Alonso still alongside and the collision occurred.”
Alpine said Alonso’s car appeared to be undamaged.
Hamilton, winner of a record 103 races, continued for half a lap before slowing and pulling over with smoke coming from the back of his Mercedes.