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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 August 2007, 17:38 GMT 18:38 UK
Hungarian Grand Prix 2007
[an error occurred while processing this directive] The Chequered Flag podcast



Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton
Relations between McLaren's drivers have been strained all season
World champion Fernando Alonso has cast doubt on his future with McLaren after relations with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton reached an all-time low.

Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix, but only after the world champion was demoted five grid places for holding up his team-mate during qualifying.

The Spaniard admitted to BBC Sport he was not being treated in the way he expected he would be by McLaren.

Asked if he was happy to stay at McLaren, Alonso said: "We'll see."

His remarks will do nothing to quell speculation that the 26-year-old might seek an early release from his McLaren deal, which still has two years to run and is worth 33.8m.

606: DEBATE

But his options are limited, with BMW Sauber being considered the most likely destination if Alonso was to leave.

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis admitted after the race that relations between Hamilton and Alonso had hit an all-time low.

After weeks of playing down reports of a growing rift between the two drivers, Dennis admitted: "There is a lot of tension in the team between the two drivers, two young drivers who are phenomenally competitive and who lead the drivers' championship.

"It's been a very difficult time and both drivers must take responsibility."

Hamilton led from flag to podium following Alonso's demotion, while his team-mate had to battle his way through traffic for the entire race before coming home in fourth.

It meant the 22-year-old English rookie extended his lead over Alonso at the top of the drivers' championship to seven points with just six races remaining.

I didn't disagree with the penalty Fernando had, I thought it was quite right

Lewis Hamilton

The row blew up on Saturday after Alonso stayed in the pits just long enough to prevent Hamilton from getting out in time to complete a final qualifying lap.

That came after Hamilton had refused to obey team orders to let Alonso past at the start of qualifying as part of a pre-arranged strategy.

Alonso was angered by the penalty, feeling he had explained to the race stewards why he had stayed in the pits for a further 10 seconds after being given the signal to go.

He said they had heard the radio conversation he was having with his engineer about why he had not been given new tyres for his final lap.

The stewards rejected this explanation, feeling Alonso had deliberately delayed his exit to prejudice Hamilton's chances.

Hamilton admitted in a news conference after the race that he had not spoken to Alonso since the incident.

It's up to me if I win the championship in the remaining six races - if I cannot make it is because I was not good enough

Fernando Alonso
Asked about his relationship with Alonso and the team, Hamilton said he had "not lost respect" for Alonso.

But he told the BBC: "For Fernando, I didn't disagree with the penalty he had, I thought it was quite right.

"I didn't feel bad for him. For the team, I felt very, very sorry. They are working day and night to improve the car, and we came here with better pace, so to not be able to extract the maximum points from it is a real shame.

"The relationship with Ron I think is fine.

"He has been someone who has been supporting me for so many years. So something as small as this - if you can call it small - is definitely not going to affect our relationship.

"He understands my point and I understand where he is coming from. For the team it's not great, but we'll be fine.

"For me and Fernando I can only try to speak to him, but if he doesn't want to speak to me, he doesn't want to speak to me."

Lewis Hamilton's McLaren takes the chequered flag in Hungary
Hamilton was thrilled to win after an "emotional" weekend
Alonso said he was not concerned about slipping further behind in the title race.

"At the end it was a very good result," he said, "because at one point I thought I might finish sixth or seventh so when I realised I was fourth I was quite pleased.

"Obviously I was two points behind, now I am seven. But two races ago I was 14 and that was looking much worse. So seven points is still good. I feel I can win.

"We have equal opportunities for each driver. We try to be fair with the championship.

"It's up to me if I win the championship in the remaining six races. If I cannot make it is because I was not good enough."



SEE ALSO
Hamilton imperious in Hungary win
05 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Alonso punished for Hamilton move
05 Aug 07 |  Formula One
I can overhaul Hamilton - Alonso
03 Jul 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton rejects Alonso complaint
14 Jun 07 |  Formula One
McLaren look to cool Hamilton row
13 Jun 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton issues warning on 'bias'
08 Jun 07 |  Formula One
McLaren deny anti-Hamilton bias
27 May 07 |  Formula One
Alonso plays down Hamilton threat
14 May 07 |  Formula One


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