How Fernando Alonso wound-up Ron Dennis…with a giant peach

Mark Scott
Fernando Alonso back in 2007 alongside a giant peach

Fernando Alonso...and the giant peach

You may remember Fernando Alonso and senior management at McLaren not seeing eye-to-eye with each other back in 2007…

Alonso was at the heart of a bitter inter-team battle with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in his first spell with the team back in 2007.

And McLaren’s former head of communications, Matt Bishop, revealed how Alonso would wind up McLaren boss Ron Dennis in particular as their relationship deteriorated beyond repair.

Fernando and the giant peach

“[Ron’s] very precise about everything equal,” Bishop said in an episode Natalie Pinkham’s ‘In The Pink’ podcast.

“He admits to being ‘OCD’ about cleanliness.

“And one of the things he absolutely loathes above almost everything else is people who eat juicy fruit without a knife and fork.

“So if you’re eating a nectarine or a peach or plum, Ron wants you to put it on a plate, have a sharp knife, steady it with the fork, cut it with a sharp knife and then put small, neat pieces of the fruit into your mouth with the fork.

“Fernando arrived with, I think, the largest and ripest peach I have ever seen.’s recommended reading

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He continued: “And he just sat next to Ron [slurping] like that and letting all the juice run down into his beard and leaving the bits of fruit pulp in his beard.

“Not everybody present would have known quite how painful Ron would have been in finding that but believe me, Fernando did. Fernando was definitely on a number then with Ron.

“But that’s Fernando. Fernando is a great driver. Great driver. He’s also an operator.”

Alonso’s manager, Flavio Briatore, did warn him about joining McLaren in the first place as he was wary of the strong relationship Dennis had with rising superstar, at the time, Lewis Hamilton.

“He went to McLaren and this I was not happy with because this was not Michael Schumacher to go to Ferrari,” Briatore told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

“This was Fernando to go to McLaren, and for Fernando, McLaren was never in his dream.

“Especially I tell him – you have the new guy, and the new guy was Lewis Hamilton, and the new guy is in the pocket of Ron Dennis, like you with me.

“And I promise you, you will have the fighting and the guy is protected by Ron Dennis.”

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