Fernando Alonso branded ‘dodgiest driver’ after ex-mechanic reveals how he turned McLaren towards Lewis Hamilton

Former McLaren mechanic, Marc Priestley, has revealed that Fernando Alonso used “techniques” to win over members of the staff throughout the 2007 season.

Alonso had simply on two championships on the spin with Renault in 2005 and 2006, however he moved from Enstone to Woking to affix Ron Dennis’ McLaren aspect.

That door had opened after Kimi Raikkonen moved from the British aspect to Ferrari, and after the departure from Components 1 of Juan Pablo Montoya, Alonso can be racing with a rookie team-mate.

His title was Sir Lewis Hamilton. The then 21-year-old Briton had obtained funding from Dennis all through his junior profession because of the phenomenal expertise he possessed.

READ: Fernando Alonso insists there was one thing incorrect along with his Alpine

That, coupled along with his immense ability, helped get by way of the junior formulae and, in the end, as much as F1.

The pair shared a frosty relationship that season, and tensions got here to a head on the Hungarian Grand Prix when the Spaniard stopped within the pit field throughout qualifying to disclaim his team-mate a last run.

Each drivers received 4 races that season, however they might finally fall agonisingly wanting the championship, with Raikkonen claiming the gold by a single level.

Alonso had fallen out with Dennis because the season progressed, and there was solely room for 2 of the most important personalities within the sport at one staff for thus lengthy, so the double world champion moved again to Renault.

Since then, the now 41-year-old’s profession has taken him to Ferrari, again to McLaren, and now to Alpine, from whom he’ll be part of Aston Martin subsequent season.

He has additionally tried his hand on the Indy 500, and has received the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, whereas Hamilton has claimed seven world titles within the pinnacle of motorsport with McLaren and Mercedes.

Priestley labored intently with Alonso throughout that 2007 marketing campaign, and he urged that there was bribery at play.

“One in every of Fernando’s techniques is to attempt to deliver the entire staff over to his aspect of the storage,” he informed the Pitstop podcast.

READ: ‘Folks didn’t need to work on Hamilton’s automotive’ – ex-mechanic

“And Fernando’s supervisor, or his coach, is handing out little brown envelopes filled with money to everyone who wasn’t on Lewis’ automotive.

“All of us acquired these little brown envelopes and I keep in mind opening up the envelope… [there was] like 1,500 euros or one thing…”

Whereas that story appears controversial, Alonso revealed in 2020, in an interview with F1 Racing Journal, that he shares his bonus prize cash along with his staff members as a thanks for his or her exhausting work.

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