Former McLaren mechanic Mark Priestley has revealed that Fernando Alonso was bribed with an envelope of money to meet Lewis Hamilton on the McLaren storage. That’s what Priestley revealed on a new version of the PitStop Podcast.
When GP2 champion Hamilton joined McLaren in Formula 1 in 2007, a fierce rivalry arose between the younger Briton and Alonso, who entered the 2007 season as favorites after transferring to McLaren and successful his second championship with Renault.
The Briton has made a sensational begin to his Formula 1 profession, ending on the rostrum in every of his first 9 races.
Alonso quickly started to see him as a actual risk. During qualifying in Hungary, the Spaniard blocked his teammate Hamilton from the pit lane, stopping him from setting a quick lap.
“He’s attempting to management”
“One of Fernando’s techniques is attempting to get the entire workforce into the storage. He’s attempting to take management,” explains former McLaren mechanic Priestley in a new episode of the PitStop Podcast. .
“When Fernando got here to the race in 2007, there was a second the place Fernando’s supervisor or coach was handing out little brown envelopes with cash to everybody who wasn’t in Lewis’s automotive once I arrived.”
“I bear in mind opening the envelope and it was like €1,500. It was so suspicious. First you get an unmarked brown envelope and I’m like, ‘Thank you, what’s that?’ Then the coach leaves and also you’re left with what you opened and it is full of cash.”
Smart Tactics by Fernando Alonso.
“Suddenly it is unfold by means of the workforce and Lewis’ males are the one ones who have not received it. We’re seeing what occurred right here: he is attempting to get assist, he is attempting to encourage folks, assist on his facet. on this intense battle,” stated Priestley.
“On the one hand, you could possibly say it was a sensible tactic, however in the long run the workforce found out and compelled everybody to donate, which was good, however it gave a little perception into the 2 completely different mentalities. “
“Lewis did different issues, he performed a few video games with the media. They each did issues proper and mistaken, however every used a technique to be the most effective driver in Formula 1. Both celebrated and achieved nice success of their other ways.” .
The 2007 season didn’t go in accordance to plan for McLaren. While Hamilton and Alonso briefly held a massive lead over the Ferrari drivers within the drivers’ standings, Kimi Raikkonen received the title by one level over the 2 McLaren drivers within the remaining race.
The workforce was found responsible of the notorious espionage case when McLaren was found to have obtained Ferrari paperwork from a workforce member.
As a end result, McLaren was suspended from the Constructors’ Championship and fined a file $100 million. After inner conflicts throughout the workforce, Alonso left the workforce after only one season and returned to Renault.