Fernando Alonso reveals details of ‘broken harmony’ in Lewis Hamilton partnership

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, McLaren, pose. Spain, January 2007.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso pose in front of a McLaren image back in 2007.

Team-mates at McLaren in 2007, Fernando Alonso has recalled his “immature” and “tense” rivalry with Lewis Hamilton as both drivers tried to gain an “extra advantage”.

Alonso and Hamilton were team-mates for one season at McLaren as the team put an all-new line-up on the track with the double World Champion moving over from Renault, while for Hamilton it was his rookie campaign.

But as the two traded blows on the track and in the standings, a feud erupted leading to petty on-track manoeuvres and mudslinging.

Fernando Alonso: ‘Each one was already looking for their own thing’

From the ashes of the partnership came SpyGate when Alonso, feeling McLaren were not supporting him, reportedly threatened to inform the FIA that his team was in possession of secret Ferrari IP. Then-team boss Ron Dennis called FIA president Max Mosley himself.

The Spaniard has now given a bit of insight into his 2007 rivalry with Hamilton which triggered the drama.

Speaking in a new DAZN documentary called ‘Fernando. Revealed’, the double World Champion said: “Now there is another type of rivalry, I don’t think we will be friends in the future or that we will ever have… I think we don’t share many things.

“But it is true that in 2007 the rivalry rose to a higher level.

“We were in the same team, the same garage, we travelled together many times, we were in the meetings and we began to notice that there was this friction, there was tension, we were playing for the World Championship and we were playing each race on Sunday.

“You arrive at the team meeting and you are seeing his telemetry, his ‘on board’ cameras of the car, and that, for example, his car goes a little ahead and when he speaks in the meeting he complains about the rear, things like that.

“So that the team did not take a direction or take a philosophy to develop the car that would be good for both of us, but rather each one was already looking for their own thing, to have that extra advantage, because we were very evenly matched.

“There were many things that broke the relationship harmony of that year. We were young, immature, I was the first, and we had many clashes.”

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According to Sports Illustrated, not for the first time Alonso revealed in the documentary that team boss Dennis shouldered some of the blame for that given his handling of the situation.

“We had a boss who did not know how to control the situation,” he said. “This would not have happened with Flavio Briatore. Or with Lawrence Stroll.

“There are certain characters in F1 who are respected and others whose drivers have control of the situation.

“In that McLaren of 2007, the drivers had too much control and no one gave us serious warning.”

While McLaren were thrown out of the 2007 Constructors’ Championship, Hamilton and Alonso went on to finish the season second and third in the Drivers’ standings with the team-mates beaten to the title by a single point by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Alonso left McLaren to return to Renault, where he stayed for two years before signing with Ferrari.

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