While the 2007 Formula 1 season is best remembered for an iconic rookie season of Lewis Hamilton, many storylines were brewing in the paddock that year and the Briton was embroiled in several of them. One such instance was his heated rivalry with Fernando Alonso.
After winning two consecutive championships with Renault, Alonso had just moved to McLaren to partner up with Hamilton. While most had written the duel off for being a whitewash in the Spaniard’s favor, Hamilton produced a surprise.
Naturally, tensions grew, and it became one of the most controversial and bitter rivalries this sport has ever seen. Now, Alonso has revealed that men like Lawrence Stroll and Michael Schumacher’s former boss, Flavio Briatore, could’ve managed the rivalry better and contained any kind of escalating tensions.
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In a DAZN documentary charting his career, Alonso explained (as quoted by Motorsportweek.com), “We were young, immature. I was the first, and we had many clashes. And then we had a boss who did not know how to control the situation because I believe that this would not have happened with Flavio Briatore, or with Lawrence Stroll.”
The 42-year-old feels that the drivers back then had “too much control”. Alonso then also added that where then-McLaren boss Ron Dennis failed, Briatore or Stroll could’ve done a better job to salvage the season.
In the end, Alonso and Hamilton remained at loggerheads, compromising the development of the car as well as the results on track. As the season came to a conclusion, neither of them managed to win the title as they lost out to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by a single point at the 2007 Brazilian GP.
2007 rivalry strained the relationship of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
After an acrimonious year, marred by the Spygate controversy, Fernando Alonso left McLaren for a second stint with Renault. That being said, his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton remained intact with the two never looking eye-to-eye ever again.
The incidents that transpired between the two in 2007 were so intense that Alonso has ruled out the possibility of ever having a comfortable relationship with the seven-time world champion again. When quizzed if they could be friends, Alonso was pretty sure they couldn’t.
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Alonso explained, “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.”
While off the track they might not share much in common, on track, they are fighting for a common goal. 42-year-old Alonso and 39-year-old Hamilton are redefining the limits in this sport. Pushing into their 40s, both the drivers are still at the top of their game and arguably want to win the world championship again before they retire.