Alonso Vs Hamilton 2007: Fairy Tale Book That Turned Into A Nightmare


Fernando Alonso decided after his double championship for the Renault team that it was enough and time for a new challenge. He left for the McLaren team in 2007, which posted him alongside super talent and new GP2 champion Lewis Hamilton. It seemed like a dream line-up, but it turned out to be an agony for the entire team.

Alonso arrived at the team from Woking with two world titles in his pocket. Team principal Ron Dennis chose to flank him with Hamilton, the British super talent. At first, all the signals seemed to be on the green for a top season. With Alonso, the team had a two-time world champion and with Hamilton a young, motivated man who could learn a lot from his experienced Spanish team-mate. In addition, the MP4-22 also turned out to be lightning fast and a top favorite for the title. With that, the team seemed to have to deal with the equally fast Ferrari.

Start of the season

The speed immediately came to the fore during the Australian Grand Prix on the first weekend of the season. McLaren was in good shape, but eventually had to recognize his superior in the lightning fast Kimi Raikkonen for the Ferrari team. Already in the very first corner of the season it became clear that the hungry and young Hamilton was not afraid of his Spanish teammate. He passed Alonso at the start from the outside in turn one. Despite that move, Alonso was able to restore order and eventually finish second, ahead of his British team-mate.

Alonso and Hamilton celebrate 1-2 in Malaysia

It seemed just one of the small signs of a born rivalry. Alonso then won the second race in Malaysia, well ahead of Hamilton. Felipe Massa won the Bahrain and Spain races for Ferrari before the circus moved to Monaco. McLaren drove a dominant weekend and even managed to lap every car except for Felipe Massa. Alonso won in the Principality, ahead of Hamilton.

Alonso and Hamilton in Monaco

Despite the dominant victory in Monte Carlo, one person was bitter after the dominant performance. “I tried to attack him and wanted to win, but I have to accept that I am in my rookie season and he has number one on his car and I have number two. I have to accept that I am the second driver,” Hamilton said at the time.

Revenge for Hamilton

The Brit was able to turn his disappointment into success. Two weeks later, the ultimate revenge came at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Hamilton won in a disastrous weekend in Canada for Alonso. The first cracks in the hoped-for fairytale book became apparent after Canada. Alonso said he didn’t feel completely comfortable with the British team from the start.

Hamilton and Alonso on Indianapolis podium

A week later Hamilton continued his good form in Indianapolis. This time in battle with teammate Alonso. The Spaniard placed his McLaren next to Hamilton’s for the lead, but Hamilton kept his cool and repulsed the attack. A lap later, Alonso thrust his fist out of the cockpit at his team in frustration. The tension was clearly mounting.

Qualification in Hungary

Raikkonen won in France and England. Alonso was victorious in Germany, after which they left for Hungary. It became the ultimate tipping point for the McLaren team and emotions ran high in the eleventh race of the season. During qualifying for the race it was Hamilton who initially refused to grant track position. The Spaniard later took his ultimate revenge.

Hamilton, Alonso and Heidfeld after the controversial qualifying in Hungary

Alonso and Hamilton went in for new tires for a final run in Q3. The man from Oviedo led the way and decided to take Hamilton down. Despite green signals for departure, he left his car with a waiting Hamilton behind him. With the ticking time in mind, he left the pits in time to do one more lap. According to Alonso’s plan, Hamilton crossed the line too late and was able to pack. Alonso took pole position.

Boiling point

It took care of the absolute boiling point indoors. On the morning of the race, which was won by Hamilton, Alonso is said to have had a heated discussion with team boss Dennis. Alonso threatened to go to the FIA ​​with heavy burden of proof against the McLaren team over the ‘Spygate scandal’, in which teams were suspected of spying on and extracting technical information from other teams. Moments later, McLaren was actually found guilty, heavily fined and removed from the constructors’ championship. The drivers themselves were allowed to keep their points.

All time low

With the heavy penalty in mind, Formula 1 moved to Belgium for the race at Spa-Francorchamps. The McLaren men hoped for a quiet weekend, but again there was the necessary controversy. Alonso clearly pushed his young team-mate along the track during the start, before the two men charged side by side at full speed for Eau Rouge. Miraculously, the fight did not end in tears and it was the experienced Spaniard who managed to piss Hamilton and emerged as the winner from Eau Rouge.

Alonso and Hamilton just before Eau Rouge

By now, the relationship between Alonso and team boss Dennis had sunk to a low point, not a favorable starting point when you are battling for a world championship with the fastest car on the grid. The McLaren boss made no bones about it and explained the internal struggle. “We don’t talk to each other anymore. The relationship Fernando and I have is extremely cold. That is even an understatement. He doesn’t actually talk to anyone. He looks more like a hermit than a racing driver,” Dennis grumbled to the BBC at the time.

Alonsodrama in Japan

The Spanish driver then seemed broken by all the misery within the team. During the race after Belgium, the Japanese Grand Prix, the two-time world champion made mistakes. Alonso started second, but couldn’t find the pace and dropped to eighth place, where he came into contact with a young Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso’s crashed car towed away

Alonso fought back to fourth position, but aquaplaning missed his braking point and parked his McLaren in the wall, ending his horror race in Japan. To make matters worse for Alonso, it was a brilliant Hamilton who won the difficult race. Hamilton widened his gap to Alonso to twelve points.

Hamilton drama in China

Alonso managed to establish himself in China. The Spaniard finished second in a race where Hamilton made one of his biggest mistakes ever under great pressure from the world champion. Entering the pits, the Stevenage man missed the apex, causing his McLaren to roll over on the gravel. It meant the end of the race for the man who seemed to have the best papers for the world title at the time. Once again it seemed to be a negative result of all the internal rumblings within the stable.

grand finale

Despite all the escapades, McLaren headed for the Autódromo José Carlos Pace with the best papers for the final of the season. Hamilton was on 107 points, Alonso on 103 points and Raikkonen on 100. The first lap immediately provided the necessary spectacle. It didn’t matter if Hamilton parked his McLaren on the back of Alonso’s. With some technical flaws for Hamilton and a disappointing Alonso, the British racing stable was unable to get their act together, after which Raikkonen took the world title in an incredible way.

Raikkonen takes off as smiling third

After a controversial and tough year, Alonso had seen enough and chose eggs for his money. The Spaniard went back to his old, trusted nest: the Renault team. Hamilton stayed with McLaren and took the world title a year later.

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