Ce sera dimanche la dernière course de Fernando en F1, a cette occasion les langues se délient et je viens de trouver sur le site de la BBC un article d’Andrew Benson qui raconte un épisode mémorable de la saison 2007 pendant le GP de Hongrie.

Je le recopie ici pour le cas ou il disparaîtraitab du site BBC et je vous met le lien ICI 



The 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix has gone down in Formula 1 folklore.

Fernando Alonso took pole after holding up McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the pits so he could not get out for a final qualifying lap.

The following morning, before the race, Alonso and McLaren team boss Ron Dennis had a huge row. Alonso threatened to reveal potentially incriminating emails to do with the ‘spy-gate’ case. Dennis phoned FIA president Max Mosley to tell him what Alonso had said.

That led to a second ‘spy-gate’ hearing, which re-analysed the claim that McLaren had benefited from secret Ferrari technical information. There, unlike at the first hearing, McLaren were found guilty, fined $100m and thrown out of the constructors’ championship.

But people forget what triggered all that. And, until now, exactly what Alonso said to Dennis in that fateful meeting has never become public. This is the full story.

A trick – and then payback

Hungary was the 11th round of the championship. Tensions at McLaren were higher than ever. Dennis and Alonso were no longer really talking. And, six races on from Monaco, the drivers were in exactly the same position in the championship – Hamilton leading Alonso by two points.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both finished the 2007 season with 109 points, a point behind title winner Kini Raikkonen

Final qualifying that year ran to a bizarre and complicated procedure whereby drivers began the session with the fuel load with which they would start the race. They then drove around doing what were called ‘fuel-burn laps’ before setting the lap times that defined the grid. Before the race, drivers were allowed to refill their tanks with the amount of fuel used on the ‘fuel-burn laps’.

This system could only cause tension in a team, especially one with two drivers going for the championship.

Firstly, there was the question of how much fuel was in the car when the driver did his final qualifying laps – more fuel means a slower lap time.

Secondly, there was always an optimum time for a first pit stop in the race – and therefore an optimum number of fuel-burn laps. But two drivers in the same team could not stop on the same lap in the race. So how to decide who got to choose the optimum strategy?

McLaren’s solution to this after the controversy of Monaco was to ensure both drivers had equal fuel loads for their qualifying runs – and to alternate who had the favourable race fuel strategy. In Hungary, it was Alonso’s turn to have priority.

That should have meant that he left the pits first and did the most fuel-burn laps. This conferred a double advantage – it would not only give him a lighter car when he did his final qualifying run, but also more fuel for the first stint of the race.

But that is not what happened.

Hamilton left the garage first and was at the head of the queue waiting to go out at the start of the session, with Alonso behind. As soon as the cars had left the pits, the team radioed Hamilton to let Alonso past so they could run to the plan. But he ignored repeated requests. Dennis even came on the radio to him, but still Hamilton did not comply.

Alonso was now at a disadvantage – he would not only have more fuel in his car when he did his qualifying runs, but he would get less back for the start of the race. He was shouting on the radio, asking why Hamilton was not letting him by. Then, he took matters into his own hands.

Realising he had been tricked, Alonso worked out a way to pay Hamilton back. He slowed down, gauging it so that he was almost a lap behind Hamilton at the end of the fuel-burn phase, and pitted before him.

They went out to do their first qualifying laps, with Hamilton setting a faster time, before returning to the pits, Alonso a few seconds ahead on the road.

The team prepared to ‘stack’ the cars – service Alonso with fresh tyres before waving him out and then do the same for Hamilton, who was waiting behind him.

But after his tyres were fitted, Alonso stayed where he was. Ten seconds went by before he accelerated away – just long enough to ensure there was not enough time for Hamilton to get back on track in time to complete a second lap. On his own second lap, Alonso took pole.

« The problems had started before, » a source says. « This was just the final volcanic eruption. But Lewis started it. Let’s not forget that. If he had let Fernando past, there would not have been an explosion. »

Hamilton’s father Anthony went to see the stewards and lobbied hard for Alonso to be punished. The stewards called up the two drivers and asked them what had happened. They took everything into account, and gave Alonso a five-place grid penalty.

Alonso’s demand to Dennis revealed

The next morning, Alonso was still furious.

For some time he had been telling Dennis that he and Hamilton should not be racing each other. The pattern was obvious. They were taking points off each other, and the Ferrari drivers were still too close for comfort. If they were not careful, Alonso believed, they would end up losing a title they should win.

Alonso decided to play his hand. With his manager Luis Garcia Abad also in attendance, he had a meeting with Dennis a few hours before the race.

Alonso told Dennis he needed to right the wrong Hamilton had caused him the day before. Hamilton had double-crossed him on the fuel-burn laps, Alonso said, and now he had a penalty and was sixth on the grid. It was not right.

The relationship was already broken after Monaco. But what Alonso said next ensured on the spot that he would have to leave the team at the end of the year.

It is well known that Alonso threatened Dennis that if the team did not do what he wanted, he would reveal to the FIA emails he had that were relevant to the ‘spy-gate’ case, in which McLaren had recently escaped censure for one of their engineers possessing a document of confidential Ferrari technical information that ran to nearly 800 pages.

« Hi Lewis, Fernando wants to say something. » Ron Dennis puts on a happy face

But what exactly he asked them to do has previously been known only by a handful of privileged insiders.

Alonso insisted that McLaren make Hamilton run out of fuel in the race.

Dennis asked Alonso to stop talking. He called in Martin Whitmarsh, his second in command, and asked Alonso to repeat what he had just said. He did. Dennis sent Alonso and Abad away, turned to Whitmarsh and asked what he thought they should do.

Dennis said he thought they should phone FIA president Max Mosley. Whitmarsh agreed. They also both agreed that they could not allow Alonso to race. They could not have a driver blackmailing the team.

Dennis phoned Mosley and told him what had happened. Mosley asked him what he was going to do, then advised Dennis not to take Alonso out of the car.

Then FIA president Max Moseley with Ron Dennis at the 2007 Belgian Grand Prix

It is widely believed that phone call led to the second spy-gate hearing, at which McLaren were heavily punished. But Mosley says that is not true.

« I already knew about the emails, » Mosley says. Alonso had told Flavio Briatore, his former Renault team boss and his manager. Briatore, Mosley says, had told F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone about them, and Ecclestone had told Mosley, who had seen them before Hungary.

About half an hour after the meeting, Abad went back to Dennis and said that Alonso wanted to apologise – he had lost his temper and completely retracted everything he said.

Hamilton won the race from pole. Alonso finished fourth from sixth on the grid. After the race, Alonso shook Dennis’ hand and apologised in person for what he had said at the meeting that morning. Dennis said at the subsequent FIA hearing: « I put it down to the heat of the moment, in which he was angry. »

Mosley decided to launch a second spy-gate investigation. He demanded access to all McLaren’s emails and, a month after Hungary, the team were summoned to attend a second hearing. They were thrown out of the constructors’ championship, and fined $100m, less the money they would have earned from whatever position they finished in the championship.

Not long afterwards, Dennis met Alonso on neutral ground with their lawyers and negotiated an early release from his contract.

Both Alonso and Hamilton won one more race each that year, and ended up losing the title to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by a single point.

As the championship reached its climax, the arguments Alonso had been making to Dennis about his fight with Hamilton came true.

Although his relationship with the team was now totally broken, Alonso beat Hamilton in both Belgium and Italy. That left Hamilton leading Alonso by two points with three races to go.

In Japan, Alonso, his car damaged and lacking downforce after a collision with another driver, crashed in the wet trying to keep up with Hamilton, who won.

In China, Hamilton crashed in the pit lane coming in to change badly worn tyres on which the team had left him out too long trying to ensure he beat Alonso. Had they brought him in earlier, he would have been champion that day at the end of probably the greatest season by a rookie in history.

Hamilton won one world title during his six-year spell with McLaren – he should have had two

Then, in the final race in Brazil, Hamilton ran wide on the first lap trying to pass Alonso around the outside, dropped to the back of the field with a brief electronics glitch and recovered to finish seventh. Alonso’s race was trouble-free but he could not keep up with the Ferraris.

Felipe Massa dominated, but Ferrari delayed him at his final pit stop, allowing Raikkonen to win the race and the championship. Alonso and Hamilton were tied, one point behind, Hamilton classified ahead by virtue of having more second places.

A month after that, Alonso officially left McLaren, and for a long time no-one thought he could ever go back.

Voilà bien sur vos commentaires sont les bienvenus et même sollicités.

Monaco Ricciardo ?

Un petit billet pour vous faire une piste libre, vous remercier de passer ici, et vous dire que je suis vraiment content de vous voir, de vous lire au moins…

Donc c’est une belle opportunité pour Daniel, et je vous avoue que je lui souhaite cette victoire… En F1 depuis 2012 on est surpris de constater qu’il n’a que 6 victoires et deux poles….

Un petit tableau comparatif 2018/2017 (avant Monaco) en prime et je vous (nous) souhaite un bon GP à tous !

So what?

Un petit mot pour Ayrton en ce 1er mai, 24 ans déjà et toujours la même émotion… Salut l’artiste.

(Merci à Paul-Henri Cahier de m’avoir autorisé a reproduire son superbe close-up d’Ayrton)


Mon petit bilan chiffré avant le retour en Europe… 4 GP les mêmes protagonistes que l’an dernier, une Ferrari qui est revenue au niveau de la Mercedes et une RBR qui performe malgré un moteur un peu léger et un pilote un peu… foldingue.

Petit tableau pour les 6 pilotes des 3 teams de tête en bleu le total des 4 premiers GP 2017, en jaune les 4 en respectant les circuits (en clair je ne compte pas la Russie et je la remplace par l’Azerbaïdjan).

  AUS 2
6 MCO 7
    2017 2018  
L. HAMILTON 18 25 18 12 25 6 25 10 12 25 12 25 25 25 18 25 25 2 12 18 73 71      
  18 15 12 25                                 70        
V. BOTTAS 15 8 15 25   12 18 18 25 18 15 10 18 15 10 12 10 18 18 25 63 56      
  4 18 18                                   40   136 110 -26
D. RICCIARDO   12 10   15 15 15 25 15 10   15 12 18 15 15     8   22 47      
  12   25                                   37        
M. VERSTAPPEN 10 15   10   10       12 10   1   25 18 12 25 10 10 35 25      
  8   10                                   18   57 55 -2
S. VETTEL 25 18 25 18 18 25 12 12 18 6 25 18 15   12   18 12 25 15 86 80      
  25 25 4 12                                 66        
K. RAIKKONEN 12 10 12 15   18 6   10 15 18 12 10     10 15 15 15 12 49 34      
  15   15 18                                 48   135 114 -21

Bilan Mercedes perd 26 points mais ce n’est pas Ferrari qui les gagne puisque Ferrari en perd 21. RBR reste a peu près stable (-2). Ca fait donc 47 points perdus (62 si on ajoute les 15 perdus par FI…)  récupérés essentiellement par

McLaren 36 (+36) et Renault 35 (+29)…

Je ne vois rien d’exceptionnel au niveau des résultats ni pour Mercedes ni pour Ferrari et en tout cas le ressenti de domination rouge ne se retrouve pas dans les chiffres… 4 GP c’est beaucoup pour parler de facteur chance ou malchance (safety car, incidents de course…. blablabla…)

Et une piste libre pour les commentaires, une !

Calendrier 2018

Déjà la mi-février la présentation des monoplaces a commencé, bientôt les premiers essais hivernaux (26 février – 1er mars) et le premier GP dans un mois et une semaine (25 mars)… La onzieme saison de ce blog commencé en juin 2008 et que je néglige un peu depuis quelque temps… Heureusement que vous êtes là !

Le calendrier donc, avec les horaire pour l’Europe.


Il se passe des choses en ce moment autour de McLaren-Honda et du changement de moteur prévu pour 2018.

On apprend maintenant que Renault laisserait tomber RBR dès 2019, on ne sait toujours pas ce que Fernando Alonso va faire, j’ai entendu des bruits sur un retour de Porsche pour 2021… bref plein de surprises à venir et nous devrions avoir quelques infos dès demain…

HS Je ne sais pas pourquoi je ne peux plus deposer de commentaires sur mon propre site ! Et ceci sans aucun message d’erreur, bref je ne pige plus rien…

Piste propre pour les essais du GP demain matin.

Bon un billet pour rouvrir les commentaires qui se ferment au bout de X semaines…

Je vous avoue en ce moment et depuis le décès de ma mère je suis un peu en vrac… et cette saison ne m’enthousiasme pas… en plus ! Pas envie de fermer parce que moi aussi j’ai besoin de vous lire, je vous propose donc un truc… si vous voulez ecrire des billets envoyez me les en format word et je les publierai avec votre signature…

En attendant que la passion revienne…

Bien amicalement à tous

PS Vous vous en doutez c’est une photo de ma mère à 86 ans avant que la leucémie ne la détruise en moins de 9 mois. Saloperie…

Patrick / Ago

2017 c’est go !

Un petit billet en vitesse pour laisser une piste propre avant les qualif…

Je crois que les Merco seront encore devant…. on va vite le savoir maintenant !

Bon GP a tous, et vive 2017 !

Un billet pour attendre….

Ben la fermeture automatique des commentaires au bout de x jours vient de fermer de fait les commentaires sur mon blog…. J’ouvre donc ce billet pour laisser la piste ouverte. Merci à Sonic pour son SMS à l’instant….

Pour les amateurs, mes tableaux…2016_21-1




Nico Rosberg quitte la F1

Grosse surprise ! Incroyable !

….more to come

une piste propre pour en parler

Paddock Club GP d’Abu Dhabi

Piste propre pour le dernier GP de la saison. Nico saura t’il conserver son avantage ? On aura bientôt la réponse.

Classement-Dominos GP20 (BRA)

Belle course au final… frustrante au départ avec ses deux drapeaux rouges et un final enthousiasmant pour moi en tout cas…

Mes tableaux


2016_20-3 2016_20-2

Paddock Club GP du Brésil

Une piste propre pour cet avant-dernier GP de la saison…. Une victoire de Nico pourrait arrêter le championnat avant la dernière course. Il y a d’autres possibilités puisque toute combinaison qui donne 6 points d’écart supplémentaires suffit…. 6-0, 8-2, 10-4, 12-6, 15-8, 18-12…

Pour ce GP encore seul Nico a son destin en main, Lewis lui est encore condamné à dépendre des résultats de son coéquipier ce qui doit être assez frustrant à vivre.

Les premiers essais c’est tout à l’heure, dans 2h30, à 13h.


Classement-Dominos GP19 (MEX)

Tellement de choses à dire après les « événements » de la nuit, j’y reviendrai probablement, mais tout de suite mes tableaux… Juste un petit point : Après 19 GP on peut comparer la saison 2015 et la 2016 sur la base du même nombre de GP




Paddock Club GP Mexique

Et une piste propre pour le GP du Mexique.

Classement-Dominos GP18 (USA)

Une course pas folichonne, Lewis fait le job, maintient je suspense, Belle course de RIC handicapé par la VSC mais bon c’était pas joué de toute façon et c’est un beau podium le 7eme de l’année certes pas de bol pour Verstappen qui casse (?) mais là aussi je ne le voyais pas finir derrière Daniel… Ferrari on va éviter d’en parler, les pilotes n’ont pas grand chose à se reprocher mais avouons-le Momo doit partir il n’a pas « what it takes » pour être TP, et je ne suis pas sûr du tout que Marchionne se rende compte de ce qui se passe… ou plus exactement je ne suis pas sûr qu’il puisse y remédier car il semblerait qu’aucun ténor ne soit prêt à remplacer Allison vu comment ça se passe.

Evidemment pour moi le fait marquant de cette course c’est la superbe course de Fernando qui est toujours là ou il faut quand il le faut… Bien sûr avec VER et RAI sur la piste il n’aurait pas eu une aussi belle place, mais justement il est là et Button n’y est pas.



Paddock CLub GP USA

GP des USA, avec le décalage horaire ce sera un GP de soirée… tranquille dans son canapé…


Les médias italiens bruissent beaucoup en ce moment… le bouquin de Brawn (et Adam Parr qui a déjà écrit The Art of War) donne lieu à pas mal de révélations, et aussi la position de Vettel chez Ferrari, j’ai même lu des trucs sur un départ de Boullier chez Ferrari, sans oublier l’éventuel départ de Lewis pour Maranello aussi…

Bref on va pas s’ennuyer…

Piste libre, drapeau vert c’est quand vous voulez 🙂

Classement-Dominos GP17 (JAP)


Bon Mercedes est champion du monde et je ne sais pas trop quoi dire: les Ferrari marchaient bien mais une stratégie discutable (il me semble) n’arrange rien, les RBR sont toujours là et j’attribue la mauvaise place de RIC plus aux soucis moteur qu’il a signalé qu’a une vraie contre-performance… Rosberg prend 10 points d’avance et je me demande si ce n’est pas un tournant du championnat, mais faudrait que je regarde ça de plus près…

Pour Ferrari on ajoutera l’humiliation de voir Vettel tomber à la 6eme place du championnat2016_17-12016_17-22016_17-3

Classement-Dominos GP16 (MAL)


Un GP plein de rebondissements, un premier abandon mécanique pour les Mercedes, un doublé RBR, un nouveau vainqueur en 2016 : RIC qui a bien résisté à son coéquipier, deux McLaren dans les points (mais avec VET et HAM non classés…)


Paddock Club GP de Malaisie

J’ai trouvé un petit moment pour vous offrir une piste propre…