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Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

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Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby SophieB on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:46 pm

EFFORT POST

So as to stop me cluttering up the race day threads with why it all went so wrong for Alonso at McLaren in 2007, I have opened this thread in case anyone wants to weigh in with their opinions, perspectives and, hopefully, sources.

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Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton let their expressions do all the talking at the post-qualifying press conference, Canada 2007


Anyway, Lawrence thinks he was fired for the following reasons:

Lawrence wrote:OK...found it. It was on one of the earlier threads back in 2008: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5593&p=164219&hilit=alonso+meeting#p164219

The pertinant part of the thread is:



The Times
November 3, 2007

Ruthless McLaren bring end to sorry marriage with Fernando Alonso
Kevin Eason

Lewis Hamilton breathed a sigh of relief last night as his McLaren Mercedes team took their revenge on Fernando Alonso for a season of disruption and intrigue. His Spanish teammate was called to the McLaren headquarters in Woking, Surrey, for what he thought would be negotiations to save his future with the team. But he was effectively dismissed by Ron Dennis, McLaren’s team principal, who tore up his contract for what amounted to disloyalty.

A statement issued by McLaren claimed the decision to split was by mutual consent. But it appears Dennis had decided long before the meeting that Alonso’s place was no longer tenable. However, there was still considerable sadness on both sides at the need to break up a relationship that at first seemed like the dream team.

Hamilton, the 22-year-old Briton who missed out on winning the World Championship by one point after a season of infighting with his Spanish teammate, will have no say in who replaces Alonso.

McLaren issued a statement saying that it was “in the best interests of both parties to bring the relationship to an end”, but the sadness on both sides was palpable. Dennis had regarded Alonso as a driver with the potential to join the McLaren greats, such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Mika Hakkinen, while Alonso spoke of having dreamt of driving for the team since he was a boy.

“He [Alonso] is a great driver, but for some reason the combination has not really worked out and we reached a stage where none of us could find a way to move forward,” Dennis said.


Lawrence wrote:
Its the only report I have seen of that meeting (although there may have been some other similar articles at the time). Still, the only two points of data I have is the official announcements from McLaren and Alonso that says it was by mutual consent (and where Alonso also states that he got fair treatment by McLaren....).....and this report, I assume from an anonymous source inside McLaren. My conclusion has always been that he was fired, and will probably remain that until someone shows me a third source. It is also the answer that makes the most sense to me, as Alonso could have hardly unilaterally quit his contract, and McLaren would certainly have not been gracious about him leaving and have made sure their extracted their pound of flesh. Keep in mind Alonso probably cost McLaren the championship and $100 million. So yea, he was fired.


(I previously argued that Alonso & McLaren were widely expected to announce a split ahead of the announcement. That link is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsp ... 022171.stm )
I will add now that when the split was announced, the bulk of the British press reported it as an inevitability (e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsp ... 074737.stm) I've gone with the BBC there, but really, I could have gone through all of Fleet Street. They all say much the same, with the significant exception of The Times' take which Lawrence included.

Personally, I think each side were just practical about things and that each party so clearly wanted the same thing - Alonso out of McLaren - that neither side were in that strong of a position to be making demands. Still, I agree that on balance, McLaren held the balance of power so my own guess is part of their agreement included Alonso not speaking out about what he saw as the terrible injustices at McLaren once he was free. I have no evidence to support that beyond it seeming the obvious McLaren demand, plus my impression as a fan that he has at times often looked like a man who really wanted to say more than he could, especially back in 2008.

Certainly he has never made public his side of things as to what happened the morning of the Hungarian GP that ultimately led to Ron picking up the phone to Max Mosley, although I believe he has denied the blackmail element without elaborating in any way. The cynic would say aha, Ron's version must be true, then because who otherwise would allow such a thing to stand? Possibly. Max himself vaguely corroborates Ron's version but then again, how much credence can one ever give to Max either? The same interview that I read him backing up this version had him going on to add how it was only thanks to his personal intervention for mercy for the team that the FIA didn't put Macca out of business...

I have long suspected that part of the reason I still think about all this (beyond thinking it all changed both Alonso and Hamilton as people forever), is that I think everyone involved is either lying or holding things back, making the truth impossible for us out in the cheap seats to ever find. And yet being just close enough out of reach to be tantalising.

Anyway. We now have somewhere to talk about 2007 if we want to. Representation from Alonso's point of view is keenly welcomed but any views on any aspects of the McLaren 2007 are welcome.
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Lawrence on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:05 pm

I suspect we will be the only two who weigh in.
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby SophieB on Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:58 pm

Yes, I suspect so. I wouldn't have made this if I'd read the other thread properly. Oh well, this isn't eating anything and now should this topic ever arise organically, everyone can be all 'hey, take that to the History forum where there's a little Internet treehouse built just for this very purpose.'

Also, Alonso is ace and the outsider/victim mentality thing is something I see as a much loved feature rather than a bug :)
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Lawrence on Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:38 pm

SophieB wrote:Also, Alonso is ace and the outsider/victim mentality thing is something I see as a much loved feature rather than a bug :)


I still remember that press conference after he won his first world championship...where he made sure to emphasize that is was all him and his family, and no one helped him. It was a little bizarre (and of course, incorrect). I may have to find it again. But that was the first time I had seen his outsider/victim mentality that then showed up in spades at McLaren. It was probably a case of the wrong guy in the wrong situation.
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby SophieB on Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:07 pm

Well, if you find it, I'd watch it again and have another laugh but I'm pretty sure I remember the incident you're talking about anyway. I'm not sure why but I found it very, very funny at the time. Possibly because it was so very clear what he was being gently guided to say by the press and he just decided nope, he wasn't playing ball. So yeah, you tell 'em, Alonso! To hell with all those johnny-come-lately-supporters! Er, or something!

It's partly for similar reasons that I'm very fond of Lewis - also one of those people who tends to zig when the world expects a zag. Although I think with Lewis it's because he seems to generate some kind of chaos field and the unexpected just keeps happening. With Alonso, it seems partly motivated by really resenting being defined by the press.

Anyway, in his defence,it's not a sustained campaign, like if you can't produce an old ticket stub from the F3000 days, he clicks his fingers to have security guards throw you out of his autograph signing sessions as just another some filthy arriviste oik trying to snatch at a slice of his unearned success. In fact, I met the photographer Darren Heath at his recent exhibition in London and we were discussing the Great Man as we were standing in front of one of his pictures of him signing fan stuff at Valencia last year. He was saying that he was absolutely brilliant with the fans at the rack, spends hours with them. And does a lot for Spanish motorsport and Spain generally. Or it's possible that as someone with a bit of an outsider mentality herself, I'm just too quick to let stuff like that slide! ;)
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby f1datavis on Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:12 am

I admire any topic and user willing to add something to history section, otherwise known as the dusty top shelf of the forum...
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Lawrence on Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:36 pm

SophieB wrote:Anyway, in his defence,it's not a sustained campaign...


Yea, most of time he seems to be a perfectly decent guy. There are just some odd quirks in his make-up and/or world view that explode every now and then. That is why I say he was the wrong person in the wrong place in 2007. He could not have handled that situation worse.
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Paul on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:22 pm

Alonso quit to get away from Ron Dennis and his shit---
Anything else?
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Lawrence on Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:39 pm

Evidence?
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Sakae on Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:00 pm

Whitmarsh would be delighted to have Alonso back at McLaren

http://grandprix247.com/2013/10/06/whit ... t-mclaren/
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Re: Did Alonso quit McLaren or was he fired?

Postby Mafia on Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:32 am

Dont care he was fired or not, but seems like he can be seen there again in near future.
Tough Luck!
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