When F1 team-mates fight for the title

Formula 1 Grand Prix, Italy, Sunday Race

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso (2007)

One of the most tumultuous seasons between team-mates ensured Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were only paired for one year, and it ultimately ended in failure. Hamilton was F1’s newest star but expected to learn from reigning double world champion Alonso during his first year at McLaren. Instead, Hamilton showed the pace and race craft to seriously trouble Alonso and leave the Spaniard feeling he wasn’t getting the treatment he deserved.

With Hamilton taking his first victory in the Canadian Grand Prix it became clear the two were being allowed to fight it out for the championship, and with Alonso believing the British driver was getting additional help, the situation came to a head in Hungary. Alonso delayed Hamilton in the pits to prevent his team-mate having a final attempt at pole position, but Alonso was penalised and Hamilton went on to win and open up a seven-point advantage at the top of the standings. The incident also ignited the ‘Spygate’ case as Alonso allegedly threatened to release incriminating emails to the FIA.

With the relationship broken down between Alonso and McLaren, it was confirmed the Spaniard would leave the team at the end of the season. Alonso hit back by beating Hamilton at the next three races, but when he crashed out of the Japanese Grand Prix - the first McLaren retirement of the season with just two more races remaining - it appeared Alonso’s charge was over. However, Hamilton retired in China and two wins in three races left Kimi Raikkonen in with an outside chance of the title. Gearbox trouble limited Hamilton to seventh in the final race in Brazil, and with Alonso finishing third, a Ferrari one-two saw Raikkonen snatch the championship in dramatic fashion.