Fernando Alonso breaks silence on role in Lewis Hamilton controversy

Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton both raced for McLaren in 2007.

Fernando Alonso has insisted that he never purposefully held up Lewis Hamilton during qualifying at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, despite the fact the Spaniard was penalised for it.

Alonso and Hamilton had a hostile relationship at McLaren in 2007, the only season of their careers in which they were team-mates.

The Spaniard moved to McLaren as a defending two-time World Champion, whilst Hamilton was a young and exciting rookie driver.

Back in 2007 at the Hungaroring, Alonso was penalised for holding Hamilton up in the pits, stopping the British driver from setting a final lap in qualifying.

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Hamilton’s side of the garage were furious, with Alonso having received significant backlash for the incident.

However, Alonso has revealed that he didn’t purposefully hold up the seven-time World Champion, as McLaren had fitted him with “old tyres” despite the fact it was qualifying.

As well as that, the Spaniard added that it was his own team who complained about the incident to the governing body, something he believes has never happened in the sport before.

“No-one heard my version, or the truth, or the facts,” Alonso told the BBC. “I said that I never hold anyone. They just gave me old tyres when it was qualifying.

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“So there is the radio transcript, the decision from the stewards, where it is written that they put me a penalty on an article that didn’t exist. They just put the penalty but clarified it was not for any article, and things like that.

“And it was my team putting a protest against myself, which is the first time in the history of the sport. So when you put all these kinds of things and you don’t see the facts, obviously it is difficult to clarify some misunderstandings.”

An official protest was never actually made by McLaren, but several other senior team members did complain about Alonso’s actions.

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It was seen by many as part of Alonso’s brewing rivalry with Hamilton, yet the 41-year-old insists that actually there was “always respect” between the two drivers.

“Nothing happened with Hamilton,” Alonso told Marca back in 2021. “It was more with the team, with whom we had our differences. He believed some things that the team gave him and didn’t give him. I believed some things that the team gave me and didn’t give me.

“We didn’t understand each other but there was always respect between us, even on the track. We would go out on Sundays to race thinking what we thought, on the inside, about the team, but we always respected each other on the track and we always tried to fight hard, but with respect.”