The Formula 1 paddock is always full of little secrets. In each formation, the drivers ensure that everything revolves around them, to obtain a car that reflects their image, adapted to their driving style. But one man obviously crossed a red line in 2007.
It was Marc Priestly, a former McLaren mechanic, who revealed the Spaniard’s technique, used at the time of his stint alongside Lewis Hamilton, to obtain the favors of the mechanics. Asked in a Pitstop Podcast, the latter indeed explained that Alonso, double-champion in title, had a specific plan in mind to avoid being overtaken by his young teammate.
“One day I saw Alonso’s manager and trainer with little brown envelopes. They gave them to everyone who didn’t work on the Hamilton car”he revealed. “You received an envelope, without any words, so at first you just say thank you. Then you open it and you see some notes. There were around 1,500 euros. Then you start talking to the other mechanics about it and you realize that the only ones who weren’t getting it were those who worked for Lewis Hamilton. Everyone understood, it was an indicator of their battle.”said the mechanic.
Alonso finally left the team after a season in which Kimi Raikkonen took advantage of internal tension at McLaren to win the title.