Alonso: 2007 title fight with Hamilton and Raikkonen "not well managed" by McLaren

Fernando Alonso says McLaren’s 2007 Formula 1 title challenge was “not very well managed”, on the 14th anniversary of the Interlagos race where he and Lewis Hamilton lost to Kimi Raikkonen.

Alonso: 2007 title fight with Hamilton and Raikkonen "not well managed" by McLaren

Alonso and Hamilton were McLaren team-mates that year – the latter’s first in F1 – which featured a close title battle with Ferrari drivers Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, as well as the controversy of the Spygate saga and Alonso’s punishment for blocking Hamilton in the pits at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 2007 Brazilian GP was that season’s finale, where Hamilton arrived with a four-point standings lead over Alonso, with Raikkonen seven off the top spot and Massa out of contention in fourth.

But a lap-one off and subsequent transmission problem early in the race dropped Hamilton down the order and with Alonso finishing third and Ferrari ensuring Raikkonen won the race Massa had led from pole until the second stops, the Finn secured his sole F1 world title success by one point over Hamilton – in the days where a victory gained 10 points, which were awarded down to eighth place only.

Alonso and Hamilton were asked for their memories of that year’s title fight in the pre-event press conference for the 2021 Interlagos race, where they were appearing side-by-side.

Responding to the question, which also asked how they felt they had changed since that their sole year as team-mates, Alonso replied: “Definitely everybody changed from that year.

“I can only speak for myself, but for sure you are different when you're 13 years older than back then.

“And more mature and you see things maybe definitely.

“As I said many times, I don't think that we were very well managed that year.

“We had a very competitive package, but we managed to lose against the Ferraris. They were fast, yes, but I don't think as fast as we were. But yeah, we were, as I said, not well managed.

“But I still have good memories from that year. And hopefully we can go back to those days and fight for the championship together.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-22 and father Anthony

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren MP4-22 and father Anthony

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Hamilton said: “The battle we had back in the day when we were both younger was tough against the Ferraris, who were very strong back then.

“So, it's still similar [to his 2021 title fight against Red Bull’s Max Verstappen]. I didn't really rate any one [title fight] harder than the other. They're all been hard in their own way.”

While Hamilton and Alonso will race on into F1’s new era for 2022, Alfa Romeo racer Raikkonen will retire at the end of the season.

When asked if it felt special to be back in Brazil and at the scene of his title-clinching-race for the last time as an F1 driver, Raikkonen replied: “I mean, it's the same place still.

“Obviously some of the things has been improved quite a bit since the first time I came here. But no, the track is pretty much the same.

“They're very passionate about it [here] and usually a lot of spectators, so yeah I have good memories obviously from here.

“But, I don't know, it doesn't change unfortunately the weekend [with Alfa], but yeah it's nice to have memories here.

“And it used to be often the last race, then at some point it was a very early race of the year, but now we have still [three] to go.”

Read Also:

Raikkonen also said he has “no plans yet on anything” for his post-F1 life, “apart from spending time with the family and having a life without the schedule that dictates the whole family's life.”

He added: “So that's the plan.”

shares
comments

Related video

MotoGP legend Rossi says racing with Norris would be “fantastic”
Previous article

MotoGP legend Rossi says racing with Norris would be “fantastic”

Next article

Szafnauer has "no intention of leaving" Aston Martin amid Alpine links

Szafnauer has "no intention of leaving" Aston Martin amid Alpine links
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022