Carlos Sainz kept the lead at the start of the Belgian GP and also saw in the rearview mirror how Alonso took advantage of Checo Pérez ‘s poor start to take second. The Mexican from Red Bull was also passed by the Mercedes, who were struggling with the Spaniard on the way to the first corner, where the Asturian held up well.
The problems would come after Eau Rouge , from where Fernando Alonso came out ahead, trying to avoid slipstreaming the seven-time champion on the long straight from La Source during the Kemmel straight.
The Mercedes seemed faster and Lewis Hamilton seemed to be able to overtake, but the Spaniard, who did not have a slipstream because Sainz was far ahead, resisted, and the seven-time champion tried to pass him on the outside of the next corner, where they touched.
Video: the touch of Alonso and Hamilton at the start of the Belgian GP
(Click on the link or on ‘full version’ at the bottom of the page if it doesn’t appear below)
Both drivers tried to continue, and Alonso lost position to Sergio Pérez and George Russell, falling to fourth place. It was worse for Hamilton, who with the damaged car began to lose ground until he had to park the W13 on the side of the track, abandoning and leaving the car completely dejected.
The stewards decided that it was a racing incident and both drivers considered the other guilty.
“What an idiot! What a way to close the door going on the outside! We had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and win by going first!” an angry Alonso said over the radio.
(Watch here the radio of Alonso angry with Hamilton in Spa)
When he passed by the retired Mercedes, Alonso from the car made a gesture denying Hamilton with his finger, as if to say “not like that”.
This is Hamilton’s first retirement since the 2021 Italian GP, almost exactly a year ago, and brings the number of consecutive races finished to 21, a far cry from his own record of 48 in a row between Great Britain 2018 and Bahrain 2020.
The first few minutes were very tense and, after Hamilton abandoned, Nicholas Latifi spun and took Valtteri Bottas ahead after rejoining the track, causing the Safety Car to come out after just two laps of the race.
Alonso tried to attack Russell on the restart, but could do nothing against the Mercedes nor against a Max Verstappen who with incredible pace continued his comeback in search of victory after starting 14th.
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