Either way it’s appropriate and it shows that Alonso has moved on a lot since the bitterness of his split with the team 12 months ago. Don’t get the wrong idea, however. He still wishes the wrath of the heavens to fall on McLaren as a team, but he said quite clearly at a small press gathering on Thursday in Brazil that he had ‘great respect’ for Hamilton and that the pair speak to each other more than the media and public imagine. I think he was also dismayed and embarrassed by the racist Spanish internet site story over that weekend and this may have contributed to the gesture.
That said, the rivalry everyone wants to see, both inside F1 and among the public, is Alonso in a Ferrari versus Hamilton in a McLaren. It would be Senna/Prost all over again, perhaps with a notch less bitterness, but a unique duel between two hugely competitive men with some history. The box office appeal of that duel would send F1’s ratings through the roof.
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