3 Bitter Moments Between Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso During Their McLaren F1 Stint

Published 02/25/2021, 2:54 AM EST
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Mclaren Mercedes team mates Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Fernando Alonso of Spain appear at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The 2021 season of F1 is just around the corner, and all eyes will be on the potential re-ignition of rivalry between two incredible drivers. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have been a part of what is possibly one of the most intense battles in the history of Formula 1.


Article continues below this ad

Hence, with their on-track reunion only a month away, let’s rewind the timeline and take a look at how this juicy rivalry unfolded.

The initial stage of the 2007 season


Article continues below this ad

It was the 2007 F1 season, and all Alonso heard was that he would be getting a new teammate at McLaren. Unfortunately, the Spaniard failed to foresee the threat heading his way from the newly recruited rookie Hamilton. And that is where it all started.

As expected, Ferrari were the biggest threat for McLaren, as Kimi Raikkonen commanded the first race in Australia. As a counter-attack, Alonso guided McLaren to the first race win of the season in Malaysia.

Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari looks on in the Drivers Press Conference during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Later on, Ferrari’s second driver, Felipe Massa, pushed for back-to-back race wins in the following two weekends. And just when the fear of losing out to Ferrari crept into McLaren, the British team realized they had bigger problems ahead.

McLaren imposing team order on the two drivers at Monaco GP

The classic Monaco GP was definitely one of the best race weekends for McLaren. Alonso was leading the race, while Hamilton was pretty much on his rival’s rear wing the whole time.

The rookie was aching to make a move on the defending champion before the team decided to step in. Despite Hamilton being much faster than his teammate, McLaren demanded that he stay behind Alonso. Eventually, Hamilton had to acknowledge his team orders, as he saw the checkered flag in P2.

Following the race, Hamilton clearly looked unhappy, as he felt that McLaren robbed him of his first Formula 1 race victory.

The intense F1 race start at Canadian GP

It was an all McLaren front row for the race, and a close battle to turn 1 was always on cards. As the lights went out, the expectations turned into reality; only this time, Hamilton had the edge over his teammate.

Alonso, while attempting to pass Hamilton, ran wide, giving up his P2 to the tailing Ferrari. His misery did not end there, as the Spaniard suffered brake problems with his car, forcing him to run wide on several occasions.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes appears at the drivers press conference during previews prior to the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Interlagos in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Later in the race, the Stewards piled up a massive time penalty over Alonso for entering the pit lane during the safety car period.

In the end, while Hamilton secured his first-ever F1 win, Alonso finished in a distant seventh, as his frustrations turned into some controversial accusations. He stated that he was feeling uncomfortable since Hamilton’s entry into McLaren.

Massive inter-team tensions at Hungarian GP

Following a set of strong showings from Hamilton, the pressure was piling on Alonso. What’s more, his frustrations led to him playing alleged dirty games on his teammate during the qualifying session at Hungaroring.

The Briton was yet again looking set to beat Alonso to pole position, but that’s not what really happened. Both the drivers jumped into Q3 with ease.

Alonso was on provisional pole, as both the drivers returned to the pit-box for refueling. Time was already running out for Hamilton, and Alonso only made it worse.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes in action during a test at the Circuito de Jerez in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Despite the crew completing their desired jobs on Alonso’s car, the Spaniard decided to hang around in the box, while Hamilton was waiting right behind him.

And what happened in the end?

Alonso accomplished his goals, because Hamilton ran out of time as he failed to start his final flying lap. Subsequently, the two-time world champion also took the pole position, leaving the entire team with frustration for sabotaging Hamilton’s pole chances.

The Stewards took note of the incident and eventually awarded Alonso a five-place grid penalty. Consequently, Alonso’s misery promoted Hamilton to P1.

Bitter end to the McLaren F1 outing


Article continues below this ad

As curtains dropped over the 2007 F1 season at Brazilian GP, Alonso was ready to make his announcement. Less than a fortnight from the season-ender, the Spaniard bid adieu to the British team, as he jumped into the hands of his championship-winning team, Renault.

Subsequently, Hamilton took over the number 1 driver mantle, as he became McLaren’s dream kid. What’s more, without the Alonso threat, Hamilton dominated the 2008 season, securing his first F1 championship title.

Fernando Alonso of Spain and Renault Sport F1 poses for a photo with his 2005 F1 title-winning Renault R25 and members of the Renault team from the same year during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Overall, it was an ugly season for McLaren. Initially, they did a great job of keeping the drivers at bay; however, things got out of hand mid-way, as they frequently had controversies thrown at their face.


Article continues below this ad

Now, with the re-union all set to happen, will the fans get to witness yet another intense on-track rivalry between the two drivers? Well, let’s see what the future holds.



Rohit Kumar

1296 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.