Hamilton tells Dennis: Go f*cking swivel!
Mon 06 Aug, 07:23 AM
The full extent of Lewis Hamilton's temporary falling out with McLaren team boss - and long-time mentor - Ron Dennis came to light ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, revealing the heated post-qualifying exchange that was the apparent cause of Dennis' headphone-throwing display on pit-wall.
While many guessed that the displeasure was directed at Fernando Alonso, after the Spaniard had blocked Hamilton at the session's final tyre change, analysis of the radio traffic between Dennis and his protégé provided interesting reading for Britain's Sunday newspaper buyers.
"The 22-year-old Brit then swore at Dennis over the team radio, blasting: "Don't ever f****** do that to me again"," reported both News of the World and The Sunday Times.
"Dennis hit back, blasting: "Don't ever f****** speak to me like that."
But Hamilton responded: "Go f****** swivel."
Things were rosier following the race, which Hamilton won from a pole inherited when Alonso was demoted five places on the grid for his pit-lane indiscretion, but the Briton admitted that there had had to be a lot of bridge-building in the aftermath of the session, in which he was accused of precipitating the blocking incident by not allowing Alonso through in the fuel-burning phase.
"I came back, everything was quiet, we didn't really speak too much," Hamilton revealed in the post-race press conference, "I went back to my engineers, we did the same job as always, a debrief. Then we had a sit-down with Martin Whitmarsh - Fernando and his mechanic and me and my mechanic - and we went through what the programme was.
"They asked me why I didn't do the part that they want me to, and I explained to them. I said 'I made a mistake, I apologise, it won't happen again. But it has happened, let's forget about it and move on. We are both on the front row, so we can still smile'.
"I thought that, because of the argument I had with Ron over the radio, he was obviously angry, I thought that perhaps he was just teaching me a lesson, so I just took it on the chin. Obviously, yesterday, he wasn't very happy. We just had to be professional, we spoke about it. I told him my views, he respected those. He said 'okay, I respect that because it is part of your personality and perhaps, in your situation, maybe that was better for you or whatever'.
"We came to a mutual understanding and started on a clean slate today. It is not great because of all the problems we are having already with the FIA and with Ferrari. It is just more pressure on the team. The comforting thing is that considering we have all this stuff going on, even this weekend, it just shows how strong the team are because we still came here and still qualified 1-2. We came here and weren't distracted from our job. That's the main thing.
"I think, going on from now, we need to analyse the weekend as always. We need to sit down, I guess, and talk as a team and re-unite. But I have no worries about it.
"I have been working with Ron for nearly ten years now so, okay, it is quite a big event and a problem for the team, but I think the relationship we have is very very strong and something like this is not going to come between us. We will move on and move on to bigger and better things."