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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Hamilton and Alonso agree truce
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
The row between Hamilton and Alonso has dominated the season
Lewis Hamilton says he and team-mate Fernando Alonso have called a truce in the rivalry which has threatened to de-rail McLaren's successful season.

The team held clear-the-air talks before this weekend's Turkish Grand Prix after their rivalry spilled out in public at the last race in Hungary.

"We're extremely competitive. We can't be best friends," said Hamilton.

"I apologised, he apologised and we said 'Let's just get it over with and get on with the rest of the year'."

The British driver, who leads the F1 title race in a dream first season, admitted: "After the last race, everything looked as bad as it could be.

"But we were not in a war. We met up had a good conversation we just discussed where we can go from here.

We had a really constructive meeting. Fernando said he had no problems with me and I said the same.

Lewis Hamilton

"The fact is we get on well," Hamilton added. "But we can't be best friends."

Alonso was more circumspect when asked about the situation, saying: "I have a long-term contract with McLaren and at the moment I am not in any hurry to move."

With six races to go, Hamilton, 22, leads the Spanish double world champion by seven points in the drivers' championship.

Despite Hamilton being a newcomer, team chief Ron Dennis has stuck to a policy of treating both drivers equally, rather than having a number one and two.

This caused friction, and their already strained relationship reached a new low in Hungary, where they ended the weekend not on speaking terms.

Alonso qualified fastest but was stripped of pole position and demoted five places on the grid for impeding Hamilton in qualifying, in reaction to Hamilton ignoring team orders to let Alonso by earlier in the session.

Clearly they are very competitive individuals and we believe that for the balance of the season that competitiveness will stay on the circuit

Ron Dennis
The English driver went on to win the race.

This prompted Dennis to call a summit meeting in Istanbul, which he did not attend.

"We are leading both championships, and it's tough to have such a difficult situation - albeit such a positive one - but we just have to do our job," said Dennis.

"The important thing is everybody recognised what their contribution was to the difficult circumstances we had after Hungary and were committed not to allow those things to repeat themselves in the future races.

"Clearly they are very competitive individuals and we believe that for the balance of the season that competitiveness will stay on the circuit. That's our objective.

"From the team perspective we will rigidly stick to equality. Sometimes it's difficult to achieve.

606: DEBATE
HOMH

"We have a very focused effort on the remaining Grands Prix, and as and if, and we hope it's if, any situations develop then we will handle those as they develop."

Meanwhile, David Coulthard is backing Dennis to resolve the row between Hamilton and Alonso.

Red Bull star Coulthard, who spent nine seasons at McLaren, said: "Ron is as experienced as any team principal to deal with what happened.

"I remember watching Prost and Senna, and I am sure (feuds) happened with other McLaren drivers before them."



SEE ALSO
Ferrari hint at Turkey fightback
24 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Coulthard reveals bulimia battle
20 Aug 07 |  Formula One
McLaren learn points appeal date
17 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton denies rift with Alonso
09 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Jordan warns Hamilton to end feud
07 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Mansell critical of McLaren row
06 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Alonso is ignoring me - Hamilton
06 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Alonso cool on future at McLaren
05 Aug 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton imperious in Hungary win
05 Aug 07 |  Formula One


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