Fernando Alonso admitted he was trying to avoid giving the benefit of DRS to Lewis Hamilton when he slowed abruptly in front of his rival during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The incident occured when Alonso emerged from the pits ahead of Hamilton, who caught him as they approached turn five and the DRS detection line in front of it. Alonso slowed, hoping Hamilton would dive past and cross the DRS line before him, allowing the Aston Martin driver to use DRS on the next straight, but Hamilton backed off as well.
The pair had a similar encounter in the Canadian Grand Prix 10 years ago. On the occasion Alonso succeeded in backing off enough for Hamilton to reach the line before him, and Alonso used DRS to pass. This time Hamilton gained DRS, but although he passed Alonso, the Aston Martin driver reversed the move soon afterwards.
“We did the same in Canada, I think, in 2012 ,” Alonso explained in response to a question from RaceFans.
“So 11  years after that episode, we try just to give the DRS to the other guy, braking for turn five. But in both cases, I won. So it’s okay.”
Alonso said he wasn’t concerned by Hamilton’s accusation he had “brake tested” him. “Lewis is obviously very clever, understands the sport really good and has a lot of experience,” said Alonso. “But I have more.”
However Hamilton made it clear he was unimpressed with Alonso’s driving. “We were flat out, 400 metres, 300 metres before the corner,” he said. “I was doing 180 miles an hour and the guy all of a sudden slowed down massively.”
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