McLaren apologise to FIA


On this day in F1 – 13th December 2007

The curtain finally fell on the Spygate scandal with McLaren’s unreserved apology to the FIA and Ferrari.

In a grovelling letter, McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh expressed his team’s “sincere regret” adding it “apologised wholeheartedly” to the FIA for the embarrassment caused. The letter satisfied FIA president Max Mosley, who asked WMSC members, “in light of McLaren’s public apology and undertakings” and “in the interests of the sport, to consider this matter closed”.

McLaren had been fined £50 million and stripped of all constructors’ 2007 points for being in unauthorised possession of confidential Ferrari information.

Who could forget the moment the whole affair become very public? The 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix was a controversial weekend for McLaren; Alonso held Hamilton up in the pit lane during qualifying, denying Hamilton a chance to record a final lap time. TV pictures showed Ron Dennis angrily throwing his headphones down as Alonso pulled out of the pits, and after the session was over he was then shown having a serious conversation with Alonso’s trainer.

On the morning of the race (August 5), Alonso met Ron Dennis in his motorhome and allegedly threatened to send his email exchanges with McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa and Coughlan to the FIA. According to Max Mosley, Ron Dennis informed him of the conversation and told Mosley that the threat was an empty one, “There’s no information, there’s nothing to come out; I can assure you that if there was something, Max, I would have told you.”

This sequence of events makes the fact that Fernando returned to McLaren in 2015 with Ron Dennis in charge even more astounding.

11 responses to “McLaren apologise to FIA

  1. Legit move. Lewis blocked Fred’s lap so Fred threw it back at him. Not very discretely though – lmao

    And then Fred did a masterful job of layering on the BS in front of the media. Not a gesture or eye movement out of place. No anger. No petulance. No defensiveness. Just enough detail in the explanation to be plausible. A total professional.

    What a glorious bastard!

    It’s a catastrophic shame that he won’t get to MB next year.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at Ron’s demise given Fred’s been working the back room for a couple of years now.

    • “Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at Ron’s demise given Fred’s been working the back room for a couple of years now.”

      If that’s true, then a glorious bastard indeed.

    • ……….ha ha ha, revenge is a dish best served cold!!! Mercedes decided after 2007 they would go their own way because of moRons useless driver management and the consequences of that AND Spygate chucked on top with a £100,000,000 fine from what I remember made their mind up. #:)

  2. The truly karmic point is that had he not tried to block Hamilton he more than likely would have won the WDC that year.
    I know it’s a huge assumption expecting all races to have had the same outcome, but had Fred let Hamilton make his run, the worst he was going to start was second instead of sixth and probably would have finished no worse than second. That would have pushed Räikkönen to third with two less points, given Fred an additional 3, and that would have been enough.

    Alonso: 112
    Hamilton: 109
    Räikkönen: 108

    • Even Ron Dennis admitted that it was Hamilton who threw the monkey wrench into qualifying. “They were out of sequence because Lewis should have slowed and let Fernando past. And he didn’t. He charged off. That’s how we got out of sequence.”
      I’ll never believe that Hamilton didn’t know that McLaren was stealing Ferrari secrets, since Alonso knew. I felt that Dennis was always protecting his golden boy.

    • Or Fernando could have kept it on track at Fuji. Murray Walker’s famous F1 is If spelt backward is a sporting and F1 tradition.

      • ……..not Fuji, it was Korea. He threw it off the track in pi55ing rain pushing just too much. Shame, because if Dennis had not fallen under Daddy Hammys arse licking technique, then a McLaren driver would have been Champion that year. #:)

        • Given that the first Korean Grand Prix was in 2010, 3 years after 2007, I stand by Alonso losing it during the wet race at Fuji in 2007. Alonso’s results in Korea were:

          2010: 1
          2011: 6
          2012: 5
          2013: 6
          No crashes. Webber on the other hand…

    • 2007 was a remarkable season — particularly from Hungary on. McLaren snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

      A WCC winning car, penalised in Hungary on sporting grounds, then disqualified entirely later on… losing a sure WCC (taking into account all WCC points penalties). An all but certain WDC for a McLaren driver down the drain. It beggars belief to think about how much was lost for a team with the best car on the grid that season.

  3. It is truly crazy that Alonso is back at McLaren with Ron Dennis after all that happened. I guess he must have only been able to make them understand his point of view. In any case, I think that Hungarian Grand Prix was one hell of an exciting weekend because of all this so I’m still glad it happened. I guess there might be some clauses about this in Alonso’s current contract. And if I’m not mistaken, Alonso still has the most valuable contract in F1, meaning he earns more than Hamilton just for his driving contract. It might be all about the speed out on track but at the end of the day, the money also means a lot

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