Fernando Alonso collects a signed Lewis Hamilton cap in show of apology

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Fernando Alonso collected a signed Lewis Hamilton cap in a show of apology to the Mercedes driver.

Alonso, 41, called Hamilton an “idiot” and said the Briton can only race from the front following a first-lap collision at Spa-Francorchamps.

On Thursday, Alpine’s Alonso said he would issue a face-to-face apology to Hamilton while conducting their television interviews for this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix.

But Hamilton, who addressed the written media 90 minutes after Alonso’s print session, said: “We were standing right next to each other in the TV pen, but no, [he didn’t apologise].

“It is not a thing for me, it doesn’t change anything or affect me in the slightest.

“I am always trying to be a better driver and I know I have a lot of young kids following me on social media, and the steps I try to take in my behaviour are important. I am always trying to learn with that and be better.”

However, moments after Hamilton spoke, Alonso was pictured leaving the Mercedes motorhome armed with a black Mercedes cap, complete with Hamilton’s signature, which had been reserved for the Spaniard.

It is understood Hamilton and Alonso spoke for a couple of minutes, with the latter apologising.

Following Alonso’s radio outburst in Belgium last Sunday, Hamilton said he would not speak to the double world champion, and added: “It is nice to know how he feels about me.”

But in an attempt to diffuse the row here in Zandvoort, Alonso withdrew his controversial remarks.

“When we are in the TV (interview) pen I will approach Lewis and say sorry,” said Alonso.

“Nothing I said is true and there are facts that show the opposite. I have absolutely no problems with Lewis. I have huge respect for him.

“He is a champion, a legend of our time, and then when you say something – and I am sorry to repeat this – against a British driver, there is a huge media involvement after that.

“If you say something to a Latin driver, everything is a bit more fun. When you say something to others, it is a bit more serious.

“But I apologise. I was not thinking about what I said. There was not much to blame in that moment. It was the first lap and we were all very close together.

Fernando Alonso said he would apologise to Lewis Hamilton
Fernando Alonso said he would apologise to Lewis Hamilton (Peter Dejong/AP)

Alonso, who quit McLaren after one tumultuous season alongside Hamilton in 2007, said he would now be silent on the radio to avoid further controversy.

He also said Formula One bosses should stop transmitting exchanges between a driver and his team on live TV.

Alonso added: “It should not be broadcasted. F1 is the only sport. In football, in tennis, you can have your moments of privacy with your team.

“I know it is part of the show, and all the things that are broadcasted are spicy because the sport wants that spice in the race.

“But unfortunately, the measure you will have to take to avoid broadcasting things you say in the heat of the moment is to stay quiet all of the time.

“I will be very quiet in the future and not part of a show that I don’t agree.”

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