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Formula 1 News - August, 2008
A year on, Alonso and Hamilton happier

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Jul.31 (GMM) One year after their relationship spectacularly imploded, former teammates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton on Thursday said they are happier now.

The zenith of their troubled tenure alongside one another at McLaren in 2007 was at the Hungaroring circuit, host of the same grand prix this weekend almost exactly a full year later.

"In my opinion, after last year here, there was nothing more to discuss," Spaniard Alonso, who negotiated an early end to his three-year contract at the end of the season and switched back to Renault, told reporters in Budapest on Thursday.

After qualifying on pole for last year's race, Alonso was penalised for deliberately holding up Hamilton in the pitlane -- in retaliation for the British driver earlier refusing to swap positions on the track.

After the incident, Alonso and team boss Ron Dennis had a blazing row, when the Spaniard famously threatened to take incriminating emails relating to the spy scandal to the FIA.

One year on, McLaren fittingly chose Hungary as the place to confirm Alonso's replacement, Heikki Kovalainen, for another season in 2009.

"We're having a much smoother year, it's much more relaxed as it should be, there's a nicer environment," championship leader Hamilton, 23, said on Thursday.

"We don't have any excess baggage on our shoulders."

Alonso also said he was happier this year, despite giving up a title-contending car to drive in the midfield with Renault.

"If I was racing for McLaren now, maybe I am in the same position as I am now, without the possibility to win," he explained.

Alonso lived out the final races of his abortive McLaren tenure last season suggesting he was not receiving equal treatment.

He said on Thursday: "At least I am happy to be with Renault with the full support of the team, with everyone working night and day to give me the best car."

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