THE against of Fernando Alonso by Lewis Hamilton in the one and only season they spent as teammates at McLaren has gone down in history.
THE 2 times champion fought a monumental battle with him ascending, rookie Hamiltonand was forced to leave the group just one year after he had “moved” from Renault.
Indicative of climate which prevailed in Woking then that seems to be his story Marc Priestleythen a team engineer and current Formula 1 commentator, who reported that Alonso gave folders with money to the engineers on his side of the garage to curry favor with them and boost their morale:
“One day during the 2007 season, Fernando’s coach gave those not working on Lewis’ car a brown envelope. I remember opening the envelope and finding 1,500 euros inside. You would take the envelope, ask ‘what is this?’ and his coach was just walking away. You opened it and it was full of cash.
“As the day went on we saw that everyone had such a file except those working on the Lewis car. We began to understand what he wanted to achieve: he wanted to have our support, to encourage us for the battle we were in.
“You could say it was a clever tactic, but when the team found out what happened, they forced us to give the money to charity.”
However, the Chris Hessey, engineer of the Spaniard in the years he achieved the double double with the Renaulthas one different explanation to give for her historyas he himself became recipient one such folder while cooperatingwith him:
“When we started to win, Fernando called me to the back of the team truck and asked me to tell him the names of those who were working on his car. Six people were then in the core group, I gave them to him.
“After a while he called me again, gave me some files and said ‘these are for you and the rest of the guys.’ I thought they were greeting cards. I opened my own envelope and found 600 euros inside.
“He explained to me that it was part of the bonus that Flavio (Briatore, head of Renault) had given him when he got on the podium. He told me ‘I want to share them with you, because without you I wouldn’t have succeeded’.
“After a few matches he would do the same thing again, he would come to me with the envelopes, and ask me to pass them out to the others.”
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