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Last Updated: Friday, 28 September 2007, 13:01 GMT 14:01 UK
Hamilton fuels rift with Alonso
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
Hamilton (left) says McLaren have more respect for him than Alonso
Lewis Hamilton believes McLaren support him more than team-mate Fernando Alonso and says he has been forced to revise his opinion of the world champion.

The Englishman's remarks come in the light of Alonso's cool relationship with the team and breakdown in relations with boss Ron Dennis.

"Since what's gone on, they've realised who the real people are in the team and who they should really back," he said.

"[Alonso] is not the person I imagined him to be, but that's the way it is."


Hamilton says the team have gone out of their way to keep Alonso happy, only for the Spaniard to throw it back in their face.

"They have bent over backwards to make him feel comfortable - me and Pedro (de la Rosa) have done the same," said Hamilton.

"We have been told to try and make him feel welcome in the team and you saw what he did to the team."

Hamilton's comments follow the row between Alonso and Dennis at the Hungarian Grand Prix in August over his status in the team.

Alonso threatened during the row to reveal incriminating e-mail evidence about McLaren's involvement in the spy row that has dominated the sport this summer to the sport's governing body, the FIA.

He quickly apologised and withdrew the threat, but not before Dennis had telephoned FIA president Max Mosley to tell him of the conversation.

It ultimately led to McLaren being thrown out of this year's constructors' championship and fined 49.2m for having confidential Ferrari technical information in their possession.

He [Alonso] is the one that was looked at to bring it home, but eventually I have earned more respect from them

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton, who was marginally faster than Alonso in second practice at the Japanese Grand Prix on Friday, attended the FIA hearing in Paris earlier this month, but Alonso chose not to.

The relationship between the drivers has also cooled since Hungary, when Hamilton first double-crossed Alonso in qualifying and then Alonso returned the favour.

Hamilton was also angered when Alonso forced him wide at the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Alonso, 26, has cut Hamilton's once 14-point lead to just two points with three races to go, including in Japan this weekend.

Hamilton said: "When you are in a relationship with a certain amount of people, you do the best job you can and want to show to everyone that you are the one for the team.

Fernando Alonso leads Lewis Hamilton during the Belgian Grand Prix
The battle between Alonso and Hamilton has grown bitter
"In this situation, I was a rookie and he was the two-time world champion coming into the team.

"He is the one that was looked at to bring it home, but eventually I have earned more respect from them."

Alonso, who has avoided commenting on his relationship with the team or Hamilton in public, is understood to believe that as a double world champion he is entitled to elevated status.

Hamilton said: "I want to win it [the title] fair and square. Not once have I approached the team members and asked to be favoured.

"It is just not something I have done at any team, asking for better equipment.

"I want to win it the right way. The best feeling ever is when you know you have won and you have beaten someone as talented as he is with the exact same equipment and exactly the same opportunity."

Hamilton said he had been surprised by Alonso's behaviour.

"You try to understand these people," he said, "but then the whole idea of what sort of person they are is completely miles out of the ball park."

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