An ex-McLaren mechanic revealed how engineers fought among themselves to refrain from helping Lewis Hamilton with his car in 2007.
Hamilton made his F1 debut in 2007, partnering up with reigning and two time World Champion Fernando Alonso. While many expected the rookie to struggle behind his already legendary teammate, Hamilton took hold of the challenge firmly.
Not many go into their debut season expecting to compete for the Title. Hamilton however, came agonizingly close to winning it, losing by just one point to eventual Champion Kimi Raikkonen. He finished P2, just a point behind the Finn.
The 2007 season however, was marred by controversy within the McLaren team. An ex-mechanic of the team, recently revealed that the team never gave Hamilton much chance at the beginning. In fact, the engineers argued among themselves because they all wanted to work with Alonso.
This revelation didn’t sit right with many F1 fans, in particular Hamilton’s. It’s an open indicator of the bias that exists within the sport and more often than not, within a team.
F1 Twitter calls out the discrimination faced by Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton entered F1 as one of the most promising talents in the sport. Since then, he’s gone on to smash all records. Today, he has the most number of pole positions, fastest laps and race wins. With seven World Titles to his name, he’s tied as the driver with the most alongside the legendary Michael Schumacher.
Exactly, people couldn’t believe a rookie could do a 2x champ like that, so they had to come up with excuses 😂😌
— Skyle (@QuinnSkyle) May 17, 2022
However, he faced a lot of discrimination from his McLaren team members if we are to believe the mechanic who revealed this. Some have tied this down to racism, with Hamilton being the only black driver on the grid.
We won’t see a rookie season like Lewis Hamiltons ever again not to mention the environment around his rookie season as the only black driver kn the grid with all the pressure that comes with it
— Sanctions FC (@TuchelMe) May 17, 2022
Others however, feel that this is simply down to the fact that Alonso was a two-time reining Champion, who earned everyone’s confidence and trust on track.
Rookie vs 2X WDC? It literally makes sense, why is this news?
— J A Y 🎧 (@josh_stacex) May 17, 2022
The only black man in the sport so I wouldn’t exect him to be treated equal.
— M3_🤘 (@M3____meet) May 18, 2022
In spite of his troubled first year in Surrey, Hamilton went on to win the Drivers’ Championship in 2008. Alonso meanwhile, left McLaren after 2007 rejoining Renault.