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F1 Throwback: When Fernando Alonso Blackmailed McLaren F1 Into Ruining Lewis Hamilton’s Race

F1 Throwback: When Fernando Alonso Blackmailed McLaren F1 Into Ruining Lewis Hamilton’s Race

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso tried to blackmail McLaren into making his team mate Lewis Hamilton run out of fuel during the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix.The two-times world champion, made the demand after he had been given a penalty for holding Hamilton up in the pits during qualifying for the race, according to the BBC. Hamilton had refused an instruction from the team to allow Alonso to overtake him during the qualifying session. In retaliation, he held Hamilton up in the pitlane, but was given a five-place grid penalty by the stewards.

That prompted the Spaniard to issue his demand to McLaren team principal Ron Dennis that the team sabotage Hamilton’s race by making him run out of fuel. The BBC claims he made this demand in a meeting between him, his manager Luis Garcia Abad, and Dennis.Alonso told Dennis that he would reveal new details about the extent of McLaren’s use of confidential information belonging to Ferrari if Dennis did not agree.

Instead Dennis informed FIA president Max Mosley of the information Alonso had. This prompted the FIA to begin a second investigation in McLaren’s possession of the information. It led to the team being thrown out of that year’s championship and receiving a $100 million fine.

Abad later approached Dennis and said Alonso had made the demand in a fit of temper, and had retracted his demand. Lewis Hamilton won the race from pole position while his teammate, who was demoted to sixth on the grid, finished fourth. Alonso split from the team at the end of the year but rejoined McLaren in 2015, after Hamilton had left.

Fernando Alonso’s first McLaren stint dented his reputation massively. He lost a major chunk of his fan base who saw through the little little tricks he was known to play against debutant Hamilton. His second stint with the team was even more frustrating since he had to drive with a dead Honda engine with absolute horrid reliability and raw pace. His tries of claiming his third championship couldn’t be successful and after retiring, he tried to compete for the Triple Crown. With a Monaco F1 victory and a Le Mans victory as well, he is just an Indy 500 race victory away from achieving the incredible feat. When he manages to do that, or if he jumps back to Formula One, is everyone’s guess.

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