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 re-creation 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 menace. 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 ways is attempting to get the entire staff 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 automobile after I arrived.”
“I keep 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 way of the staff and Lewis’ males are the one ones who have not acquired it. We’re seeing what occurred right here: he is attempting to get help, he is attempting to encourage individuals, help on his facet. on this intense battle,” stated Priestley.
“On the one hand, you may say it was a good tactic, however ultimately the staff found out and compelled everybody to donate, which was good, however it gave a little perception into the 2 totally different mentalities. “
“Lewis did different issues, he performed a few video games with the media. They each did issues proper and incorrect, 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 last race.
The staff was found responsible of the notorious espionage case when McLaren was found to have obtained Ferrari paperwork from a staff member.
As a consequence, McLaren was suspended from the Constructors’ Championship and fined a document $100 million. After inner conflicts throughout the staff, Alonso left the staff after only one season and returned to Renault.