NewsWorldFormula 1 - Alonso paid mechanics who were not...

Formula 1 – Alonso paid mechanics who were not on Hamilton’s side – ŠPORT.SK


today 16:25 | In 2007, Fernando Alonso took the fight against his teammate in his own way. According to former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley, the Spanish driver used to give envelopes of money to his team members in order to weaken the position of his teammate. The second driver of the stable was then the rookie Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso joined McLaren after winning two championships with Renault. He was joined by young Briton and GP2 series champion Lewis Hamilton in the ambitious team from Woking. And from the beginning there was no shortage of controversial moments. In qualifying for the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton did not comply with the agreement and did not let Fernando Alonso in front of him, thereby ruining his qualifying attempt. The native of Oviedo did not let it go and immediately returned it to him. Before the next attempt, he held up Lewis Hamilton in the pits, thereby robbing him of the chance to beat him in the fight for pole position. Former mechanic Marc Priestley, who worked in the British team from 1999 to 2009, spoke about the events at McLaren at the time, 15 years later. In his PitStop podcast, Priestley also talked about how Fernando Alonso once tried to win in a fight against the team stablemate on your side. Fernando Alonso photo gallery. Source: SITA/AP “One of Fernando Alonso’s tactics is to try to get the whole team on his side of the garage. He tries to control everything,” continues Marc Priestley, “there was a moment in 2007 when I came to a race and Fernando’s manager or trainer was handing out little brown envelopes stuffed with money to everyone who wasn’t on Lewis’ side.” “I remember opening the envelope and there was about 1,500 euros in it. It was really horrible,” the former mechanic responded to the situation at McLaren. However, the actions of Fernando Alonso gradually reached the management of the stable. “Once it got around the team and the only people who didn’t get it (the envelope) were Lewis’ crew members. It was clear what it was about. He is trying to get support, to encourage people to support his side in this intense internal struggle,” recalled Marc Priestley. “On the other hand, it can be said that it was a clever tactic. But eventually the team found out and forced us to donate the entire amount to charity, which was fine of course. The whole thing was such a small insight into two different mindsets,” concluded the former mechanic of the British stable. Fernando Alonso photo gallery. Source: SITA/AP In the end, none of the McLaren drivers won the title in the 2007 season. In a tough fight, the Finnish driver of the Ferrari stable, Kimi Räikkönen, beat them both with a difference of only one point. After one season, Fernando Alonso returned to Renault, where he was unable to follow up on the successful seasons of 2005 and 2006. McLaren’s problems persisted even after the Spaniard’s departure. The team was eventually disqualified from the 2007 season and had to pay a record $100 million fine after being found guilty by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile of conspiring to obtain confidential technical information from a member of the Ferrari team. The driver Fernando Alonso himself had a hand in the espionage affair called “Spygate”.



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