After a good start put him third on the first lap, the seven-time world champion hit Fernando Alonso’s Alpine at the end of the Kemmel Straight and was catapulted into the air before having to retire.
Alonso lambasted Hamilton over team radio, labelling him an “idiot” who “only knows how to drive and start in first”.
“He was in my blind spot and I didn’t have the space, so it was my fault,” the Brit said afterwards. “So sorry to the team.
“It doesn’t really matter what he said. It was my fault, I couldn’t see him - he was right in my blind spot.”
DRAMA ON THE OPENING LAP!
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso come together on the opening lap! 😮 pic.twitter.com/8GQp94gZ7h
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) August 28, 2022
The incident compounded a bad weekend for Hamilton after being off the pace in qualifying, although George Russell did finish a strong fourth as Max Verstappen cruised to victory.
There had been some raised eyebrows when stewards announced no further action for Hamilton having knocked Alonso down the order with the incident.
A note from the F1 stewards at Spa-Francorchamps detailed the reasoning behind the decision.
It explained: “Hamilton’s front wheels were ahead of Alonso’s at the entry to the corner. Alonso moved his car off line to the inside with both right side tyres fully on the kerb and even somewhat inside the kerb.
“At no point did Alonso appear to lose control or understeer. Hamilton turned into towards the apex of the corner with Alonso still alongside and the collision occurred.
“The Stewards considered that this was a first lap incident with a lot of movement relative to other cars in the first few corners, and thus take no further action.”