Reflecting on their time as McLaren teammates in 2007, Fernando Alonso looked back on his highly charged and competitive relationship with Lewis Hamilton.
Both drivers were vying for a competitive edge throughout their sole season together on the team. That year marked a significant shift for McLaren, introducing a fresh duo with Alonso joining from Renault, already a two-time World Champion, and Hamilton embarking on his debut season.
As the competition intensified between them, both on the circuit and in the championship rankings, their relationship deteriorated, leading to a series of spiteful actions on the track and acrimonious exchanges off it.
This strained partnership eventually led to the infamous SpyGate scandal. Alonso, feeling marginalized by McLaren’s support, allegedly threatened to expose the team to the FIA for holding confidential Ferrari information.
Alonso shared insights into the dynamic of his 2007 rivalry with Hamilton in the recently released DAZN documentary, ‘Fernando. Revealed’.
The two-time World Champion remarked: “Now there is another type of rivalry, I don’t think we will be friends in the future or that we will ever have… I think we don’t share many things. But it is true that in 2007 the rivalry rose to a higher level.”
“But it is true that in 2007 the rivalry rose to a higher level. We were in the same team, the same garage, we travelled together many times, we were in the meetings and we began to notice that there was this friction, there was tension, we were playing for the World Championship and we were playing each race on Sunday.
“You arrive at the team meeting and you are seeing his telemetry, his ‘on board’ cameras of the car, and that, for example, his car goes a little ahead and when he speaks in the meeting he complains about the rear, things like that.
“So that the team did not take a direction or take a philosophy to develop the car that would be good for both of us, but rather each one was already looking for their own thing, to have that extra advantage, because we were very evenly matched.
“There were many things that broke the relationship harmony of that year. We were young, immature, I was the first, and we had many clashes.”