(Motorsport-Total.com) – Former McLaren mechanic Mark Priestley has revealed that Fernando Alonso used bribes in the type of cash-filled envelopes to get Lewis Hamilton higher on the McLaren storage. Priestley revealed this in a brand new version of the “Pitstop Podcast”.
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Season 2007: McLaren crew boss Ron Dennis and Fernando Alonso in dialog
When GP2 champion Hamilton joined McLaren in Formula 1 in 2007, a bitter rivalry developed between the younger Brit and Alonso, who moved to McLaren and entered the 2007 season as favourites, after successful a second consecutive championship with Renault.
The Brit made a sensational begin to his Formula 1 profession and was on the rostrum in every of his first 9 races. It did not take lengthy for Alonso to see him as an actual risk. During qualifying in Hungary, the Spaniard blocked his teammate Hamilton in the pit lane, stopping him from driving a quick lap.
Priestley: Money for all Alonso mechanics
“One of Fernando’s tips is attempting to get the entire crew to the facet of the storage. He’s attempting to take management,” explains former McLaren mechanic Priestley in a brand new episode of the Pitstop podcast.
“There was a second in 2007 when Fernando confirmed up at a race and after I arrived Fernando’s supervisor or coach was handing out little brown envelopes with cash to everybody who wasn’t in Luis’ automotive.”
“I keep in mind opening the envelope and it was like 1,500 euros or one thing. It was very suspicious. First you get an unmarked brown envelope and I feel, ‘Thank you, what is that this?’ Then the coach leaves and also you’re left with this factor that you just open up and it is actually full of money.”
Priestley on McLaren duel: “Two totally different mindsets”
“Suddenly it is spreading by the crew and the one individuals who have not received it are Lewis’ guys. We’re beginning to see what occurred right here: he is attempting to get help, he is attempting to inspire individuals, the help on his facet. In this intense wrestle,” stated Priestley.
“On the one hand you may say it was a intelligent trick, however in the top the crew clearly came upon about it and requested us to donate the whole lot to charity, which was good, however it was a little bit of an understanding between two totally different mindsets.”
“Lewis has performed different issues, he is performed some video games with the media. They’ve performed each proper and unsuitable issues, however every has tried methods to turn out to be one of the best Formula 1 driver. And each have had nice success with their totally different celebration strategies. .”
Monza 2007: Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso
For McLaren, the 2007 season didn’t finish as deliberate. Although Hamilton and Alonso quickly held a big lead over the Ferrari drivers in the drivers’ standings, Kimi Raikkonen was capable of win the title with a one-point lead over each McLaren drivers in the final race.
The crew was additionally implicated in a high-profile espionage case after it emerged that McLaren had obtained Ferrari paperwork from a crew member.
As a end result, McLaren was disqualified from the Constructors’ Championship and fined a file $100 million. After an inside crew feud, Alonso left the crew after only one season and returned to Renault.