Formula 1

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James Allison recalls his awkward first meeting with Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes

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First impressions certainly do mean a quite a bit to most people, which can be very awkward if you mess it up.

Back in early 2017, Mercedes technical director James Allison blundered his first meeting with 34-year-old Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton by calling him a "f***er" to his face.

So shocked at the words of Allison, it prompted Hamilton to complain to team boss Toto Wolff about the bizarre incident.

Allison, giving a recap of their encounter, spoke to the media and said, as per The Sun: "It was at the winter tests of 2017 and we were introduced in the morning and shook hands.

"We'd gone off to do our own thing and we bumped into each other before midday and he walked over to me just to be friendly.

"Just before that, he'd had an off at Turn Four and I thought I knew the form and say 'that was massive' and 'wow' but equally I did not want my first interaction to be a fawning one.

"So I rather unwisely said 'I did see it and the thing what amazes me about you f***ers is you come back for more of it the next lap!'

"That they do a dangerous thing and immediately put it out of their heads, but I didn't want to say it in a way that 'you are so cool'.

"But Lewis's face fell. He looked surprised at me and turned on his heels and went off in the opposite direction and I thought, 'OK, he's not getting me".

AUTO-PRIX-F1-ESP-PRACTICE

"Later in the day, Toto came up to me and said, 'James, Lewis said you were a bit rude to him earlier', I said 'I was not rude but I was ill-judged'.

"I told him I would put it right and the first time we did come across each other was back at the factory and we went for a coffee in the canteen.

"I explained where I was coming from and said don't worry, I won't do it again, but he said don't fret."

Then, the two started building a relationship, with Hamilton sympathising with Allison after the loss of his wife.

"He also told me he was sorry about my wife, who had died six or eight months earlier and it caught me by surprise. It is not what you expect from an F1 driver.

F1 Grand Prix of Russia - Final Practice

"He took the conversation on and said that he hoped I found some way of living with it, and in good time I will find happiness again.

"That was a lovely thing to say. I said 'I hope so too, but that happy future would involve me talking to a girl and I am absolutely rubbish at that'.

"Lewis looked at me and smiled and said, 'well, probably just don't call them f***ers!'"

While it may have resulted in some awkward tensions at first, Hamilton and Allison did discover a bond of respect through the tragic event of Allison's wife passing due to meningitis. 

Hamilton, widely considered one of best drivers of his generation and of all time in the history of the sport, has been with Mercedes since 2013.

He has gone on to win countless events, awards, plaudits and accolades throughout a very storied career which is bound to have some situations like these arise.

Tension or not, both men moved past it and have enjoyed great success since the incident.

Topics:
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
Formula 1

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