Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Yas Marina, 2023

Alonso says Hamilton ‘brake test’ was Canada 2013 repeat: ‘In both cases I won’

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by and

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.

Hamilton accused him of “brake testing” but the stewards took no action over the incident. Alonso described it as a repeat of their celebrated battle in the Canadian Grand Prix 10 years earlier.

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 [2013],” Alonso explained in response to a question from RaceFans.

“So 11 [10] 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.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

59 comments on “Alonso says Hamilton ‘brake test’ was Canada 2013 repeat: ‘In both cases I won’”

  1. i suppose Lewis did pretty much ruin his career, but still

    1. Alonso ruined his own career because the rookie was better than him in 2007. Tucked his tail and ran back to Renault for 2008 to fix races with his buddy flabbio

      1. @MEGATRON M12

        You must not have been around if you believe that’s what happened/why Alonso left. Moreover, when Lewis failed to have the best car in the field and Alonso had the 3rd to 5th fastest car in the field, he scored three straight 2nd’s in the WDC. Meanwhile, Hamilton wasn’t close.

        What’s funny is Alonso made that comment tongue-in-cheek, but LH superfans have no sense of humor. So, they didn’t get it and are losing their minds.

        A true fan would recognize that they’re both amazing drivers (two of the best ever) and there’s no reason or need to attack one or the other just because driver a, b or c is your favorite.

        They’re both amazing drivers.

  2. Certified Alonso moment for celebrating such a erratic and downright dangerous driving. A 41-year old kid with a tantrum.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      26th November 2023, 18:06

      @huhhii he got away with it… I love Alonso but these moments make him look pretty low-class.

    2. What tantrum?? Alonso didn’t even raise the subject, you silly. Hamilton is creating a drama, Alonso is just answering questions.

      1. Alonso clearly break tested Lewis. I am baffled as to how he was not given a penalty. Does anyone know what the stewards releasing was? It seemed absolutely certain penalty to me from the onboards? It was very dangerous. And to top it off Horseface seems to find it funny rather than being apologetic. I used to quite like Alonso and I certainly respect his skill, but henis an idiot child on this occasion.

    3. You’re confusing a provocative headline with he actually did and said. There’s a difference between brake testing someone directly behind you without any ability to avoid you and trying to be the first into the detection zone, which is exactly what Leclerc and Max were doing in Saudi Arabia and which has happened many other times. The difference is trying to get another driver penalized has been become more popular than taking a flop in soccer.

      1. Robert Henning
        26th November 2023, 23:22

        Most sensible take.

      2. Exactly and Lewis knew this or has to be the worst driver for not taking the gap to overtake if he genuinely believes what he is saying.

        1. He more hilarious yet is that Hamilton easily stayed behind and without even getting slightly out of shape, which is why he got DRS and passed. Alonso re-passed him later.

    4. What’s funny is at the race, no one in the comments section is chastising Alonso for this. It’s also funny how he made that comment tongue-in-cheek, which since LH superfans have no sense of humor, they’re losing their minds over it.

  3. Losing 3rd place in the championship to Hamilton must be hard to swallow. Alonso doesn’t seem to miss an opportunity to show that he still resents Hamilton beating him in his rookie year and becoming a 7-times world champion. He even went on to pretend that Aston Martin was the “slowest on the straights by far”, only to try and make Hamilton look pathetic when overtaken right after. You just had a better car, Fernando, nothing more. Petty behaviour overall, in my view.

    1. They ended up with the same points in 2007, it was still an impressive performance by hamilton, but makes no sense to go look at tie breaks to say one beat the other.

      1. but makes no sense to go look at tie breaks to say one beat the other

        To say one driver beat the other is 100% the reason we look at tie breaks, @esploratore1

    2. That happened a while ago. He was racing to try and preserve 4th, not punish Lewis for getting to 3rd in the WDC.

    3. Robert Henning
      26th November 2023, 23:24

      He still drove a better season than Hamilton but as has been the case with his entire career, he hasn’t had the car to show it. It’s still a better achievement to finish P4 in the 5th best car than P3 in the 2nd-3rd best car.

      1. Aston Martin had a faster car than Mercedes for nearly half a season. Alonso might have been clear of Hamilton and Leclerc if he had a teammate capable of putting the car where it should have been and took points of others.

        1. Robert Henning
          27th November 2023, 10:03

          What was Lewis doing yesterday in a clearly better car?

          That said AM was last consistently the better car than Mercedes back in Canada. Then they fell off so badly barely fighting for P9 and P10. And had peaks at Zandvoort and potentially Interlagos both of which were extremely challenging for Alonso to get to the podium.

          Alonso unless you believe is somehow driving the car half a second off pace has driven a far better season if you are even being slightly objective. But I won’t let facts get in your way. Having a competent teammate doesn’t mean you qualify much off pace like Lewis did so often this second half of the season either.

        2. This take is utterly hilarious. He only had a top 4 car for roughly 7 of the first 8 races and yet was still did this: the driver who went the furthest into the season without missing Q3, had 6 podiums in the first 7 races, had more Q3 appearances than Checo and Stroll combined, had the biggest share of points vs a teammate in F1 (not counting Albon 26 vs 1 for Sargeant) and even after his car’s speed fell off and Stroll was getting knocked out in Q1 every race, was still able to get podiums like in Zandvoort when wet conditions allowed it and Brazil when the team reverted to a beginning of season spec.

  4. Don’t forget his brake test on Hamilton in Bahrain 2008 which resulted in a collision, on that occasion DRS didn’t exist.

    Leopards never change their spots, as they say.

    1. Any facts at all to support this?

      A highly contentious, massively publicised incident which Hamilton said on the day “I had the crash with Fernando which really lost us the race altogether. I’m always the first to blame myself and I feel that’s the right way to go”.

      The stewards issued no penalty and Renault provided a throttle trace showing no lift. Conspiracy theory nonsense.

  5. Brake test?
    Come on!
    British crying thats allá.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      26th November 2023, 18:10

      Yes, it was – it’s insane how fast these cars decelerate once the drivers take their foot off the pedal.

      Hamilton would have smashed into him there if he had continued and maybe Alonso wouldn’t be alive to laugh… It would have been quite the irony.

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    26th November 2023, 18:07

    Shame on the stewards for not giving him a penalty for what was an extremely dangerous maneuver.

    If Lewis had not reacted, it would have been quite ironic if Alonso had lost an arm and a leg for that sleazy tactic.

    1. Now that’s ugly from you really

      I could say the other driver might have lost its head, only hasn’t one.

      1. u can also get more stupid than before

    2. ALO gave him tons of room to pass yet HAM followed him.
      ALO wanted HAM in front so ALO could use his slipstream to pass.
      They both knew this.
      It’s racing – let it go.

    3. Woah man! There is a difference between not liking ALO and wishing he loses limbs.

  7. Barely any similarities & this one was far more risky than the Canadian GP one.

    1. same situation, both were racing to *not* have DRS. Hamilton was expecting it, that’s why the gap barely came down. Suspect that’s why the stewards didn’t penalize, it’s not the first time these two have played DRS games. Obv alonso wouldn’t try this with a less experienced driver, but that’s the nuance in racing….it’s not all black and white.

  8. Apparently this (Canada 2013) is the same as this (AD 2023) in Alonso’s eyes? Like even if we take his perspective, is his rebuttal/reasoning, he did it to me a decade ago so yea, all’s fair?

    The bar is so low it’s practically a tripping hazard in hell, yet here you are, limbo dancing with the devil mate. never change Alonso, never change.

    1. You’re right. Today maneuver was a non-story compared to 2013.

    2. Look at the speeds that occurred at and the space Hamilton had. This was nothing. Neither was Canada because when Hamilton brakes Alonso was on his left. People are trying to make a mountain of a mole hill.

  9. When they crashed in Spa last year Alonso went to remember something years back to take a dig at Hamilton.

    Now he’s going back to Canada 2013 lol pretty sure Hamilton doesn’t have a clue what he’s on about.

    On that one they were side by side, now it was clearly a brake test.

    But since nothing happened, it wasn’t even noted. Had they crashed because of it maybe they could handle him a 5 sec penalty or a fine after ungluing his car from the wall.

    1. The ridiculous thing it that not only was it noted but it was investigated yet somehow the stewards failed to notice that the Aston clearly slowed erratically and dangerously. I would be interested to k ow what the stewards saw that nobody else did…

      1. Why did Hamilton follow Alonso when the latter drove well off the racing line to let Lewis by?
        Because Lewis knew Alonso wanted to let him by so he could use his DRS to pass him.
        Drama queen.

        1. Robert Henning
          26th November 2023, 23:27

          It’s a carbon copy of Jeddah 2021 where once again Lewis decided to slow down when the car in front slowed and ended up crashing into the rear of Verstappen when the latter slowed down even more by pressing the brake while not using the empty road on the left except this time Alonso, did not do the final bit of braking Max did.

          Hamilton as you said is a drama queen, and is the first to complain about a normal defensive move as dangerous driving.

    2. Not sure how his comment “Lewis only remembers how to race from the front” is related, but all the drivers say crazy things about each other in the heat of the moment and then forget about.

      As for the stewards not taking any action…well, that just shows how much of a nothing it was considering how cautious they are these days. This whole thing reminds me of how when Lewis or Max have small, controversial incident, everybody who hates each comes out of the woodwork to point out how this “proves” xyz insult about one of them.

      Just like how Seb and sidechecked Lewis and then three years later Lewis was in tears over Seb’s retirement, this will be water under the bridge in about a week. Though I doubt Lewis will cry over Alonso. lol

      1. Its not related. It’s just Edvaldo having a miserable season of F1.

      2. Unfortunately i won’t bother to look what was it exactly right now, but Alonso gave an actual, and very specific, example of some situation of the past, it wasn’t this vague statement you’re refering to.

        And now, again, something pretty specific. But then they exchange helmets and pretend everything is fine, so, at the end, it doesn’t matter.

  10. I readily admit that I thought the more races, the better at the start of the season but this season was clearly too long. I dislike every single driver on the grid. I hate their whining. I hate their antics. All of it. ALO is no difference, a year ago or so, HAM made some mistake and ALO said that HAM only knew how to drive when starting from pole. Well ALO, I don’t think HAM started from pole this season but the season ending results has him ahead of you.

    1. The car was overall better, that’s what made the difference in the driver’s championship.

    2. I agree. This season was too long and all the drivers got on my nerves.

    3. Any sport will be difficult to watch if you can only accept it when your man wins.

      1. lol. That wasn’t they were saying. But you try to bring everything back to Max. There were just too many races this years. It was fun even when Max was dominating, but too much of a good thing can get boring.

  11. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    26th November 2023, 18:50

    It’s a little bit sad to see Alonso clutching at straws like this. But I suppose, if it makes him happy?

  12. I think they should just ban the stewards, seriously, put some bumpers on the car and lets call it a day. Maybe sprinklers every other minute, and flying potholes that have a 10% chance of killing the guy behind you, if you land on it at the right second. Could be like NBA JAM, and maybe sometimes the tires light on fire, or just plain explode. Of course we will need to put rails on the bottom of the car so they can skid down the straights, with lots of magnesium. F1 is just as lost as MotoGP was about 10+ years ago, right before they ditched Bridgestone and surprise surprise, the rest of the field became competitive (not the same two japanese bikes). Cmon.

  13. Alonso would probably count getting to the front of the lunch queue before Hamilton as one of his ‘wins.’
    Shame he was unable to convert all that vast experience into a pole or a race win this season when he had the chance, as others managed despite the Red Bull dominance. But at least he has the brake test to feel really proud about.

  14. This illustrates what is wrong with DRS. Cars couldn’t pass using old style slipstreaming, so DRS was intended to give some of that performance back, but clearly it is now just a push to pass. It isn’t right if one driver has spent three or four laps whittling away a lead to get within DRS range, only for the leading car to allow a free pass before the DRS line and then regaining the position with a no-effort DRS pass on the next straight.

  15. I’m really not sure what folk are getting so worked up about. Alonso is to the right and off the racing line and Hamilton clearly reads it.

    It’s a worry to me that this incident 10 years ago is correctly viewed as intelligent racers maximising a ridiculous rule and today there is a clamour for blame and penalties. Did anything actually happen?

    Brake testing is a serious allegation, but you can’t determine how quickly someone can brake for a corner. There’s no foul here. I’d like to see the DRS rules change as this was always a potential problem point as Max and Fernando have both illustrated.

    1. But there is also a rule that you are not allowed to break or slow erratically. It is clearly dangerous to slow on a straight when there is a car right behind you. Now I think the double DRS zones are stupid but the way to make them work for you is to slow more into the corner than you need to. Not to dangerously slow in the straight before the corner!

      1. I don’t think what Alonso did should be encouraged. But my worry is that is will be absolutely impossible to police this sort of thing consistently.

        27.4 of the sporting regs says, “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.”

        Unnecessarily slowly to me is about crawling on the racing line, I don’t think that applies here. Erratically also seems a stretch given Alonsos made one move and was off the racing line. Potentially dangerous I think is a rather vague definition too.

        For example, had Alonso been pulling off to retire, would he receive a penalty? Clearly not. Lewis also read the move and decelerated.

        I think it’s incredibly hard to determine in a wet race whether the driver on the inside of a corner with a dry line is driving unnecessarily slowly. Obviously these are pedantic examples but I don’t want to see penalties for hypothetical scenarios either.

        These are the best drivers in the world and we should intervene with penalties when something happens, not in the event a bad thing could have potentially happened. It’s no coincidence to me that the 2 drivers involved are widely regarded as the best of the generation, I can’t see Alonso trying that with Stroll or Sargeant.

    2. You are correct

    3. It’s mainly just the same people who hate Alonso or love Hamilton that are acting like this was a major thing.

  16. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt but kind of shameful from Alonso to admit this. And if he was trying to let him by into 5 it was poorly conceived and executed.

    1. Uh, there was tons of room for Lewis to go by. They didn’t even come close to making contact. Lewis didn’t even come close to contact. So, how was it poorly conceived?

  17. Both Alonso and Hamilton were assh*les back in 2013. Right now Ham is the only one who still whinning about every battle with Alo, and I pretty much have a lot of fun seeing Alo making the best of his slowest car againts a still crying baby Ham who is unable to pass him with a much better car.
    Check it out. Ham has more complainings againts other drivers in the last three years than the previous seven years where he won most of their champsionships.

Comments are closed.