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Hamilton calms Alonso feud with text message
(GMM) After regularly criticizing his teammate a week ago in Japan, runaway championship leader Lewis Hamilton sent Fernando Alonso a clear-the-air text-message on the eve of this weekend's Chinese grand prix.

The specialist magazine Auto Motor und Sport also quotes the 22-year-old rookie, who could wrap up his drivers' title with a win in Shanghai, as saying he then had a "good conversation" with his Spanish colleague at the circuit on Thursday morning.

"I approached him and said thanks for the SMS," Alonso confirmed.

Hamilton also said he wishes Alonso "all the best" for 2008, whether he is still a McLaren driver or switches to another team.

"If he is with us next year, then we will work the best way we can," the Briton added.

"I get on with Fernando well, there is nothing wrong with us," he told reporters on Thursday.

"So I think for the future, wherever he is, we will get on well."

Alonso, however, was among swarms of Hamilton's fellow grand prix drivers in the Shanghai paddock who criticized his erratic driving behind the safety car a week ago.

The 26-year-old admitted that he saw Hamilton execute "unnecessary maneuvers" in the atrocious conditions, adding: "I overtook Lewis two or three times (behind the safety car), so it seems that we all agree."

Alonso was wearing a checkered wristband in China on Thursday, moving some to observe that the Spaniard probably can't wait for the real black and white flag to wave on a highly controversial 2007 season.

"I am looking forward, no doubt," he admitted, but he refused to comment on speculation that he is interested in taking up Flavio Briatore's offer to return to Renault next year.

"When the championship finishes, we will see," he said. "This year I suffered more difficult moments than I expected." Asked how much he is looking forward to the last lap of the last race in Brazil later this month, he smiled: "A lot."

Alonso also said he would "not answer" a "difficult" question about whether he expects to be treated fairly by McLaren in China, where Hamilton could become only the second Briton to win a drivers' title for the team.

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