Double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has again seen his character and integrity come under attack after being accused of trying to deliberately 'sabotage' and undermine Lewis Hamilton when the pair were team-mates and bitter arch-rivals during an acrimonious campaign at McLaren-Mercedes in 2007.
According to Tom Bowers' new book No Angel: The Secret Life Of Bernie Ecclestone
, ahead of that season's Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring close to Budapest, Alonso asked McLaren team principal Ron Dennis to short-fuel Hamilton's car so that the British star would run dry and fail to finish the race, thereby denting his own title hopes but likely boosting those of the Spaniard.
That, of course, was the very day after a tit-for-tat spat had culminated in Alonso blocking Hamilton in the pit-lane during qualifying so that the latter did not have enough time to begin his final flying lap – a misdemeanour for which the man from Oviedo earned himself a starting grid penalty.
The same race was also the backdrop for the alleged 'blackmail' threat made by Alonso against Dennis, with the 26-time grand prix-winner reputedly issuing his team boss with an ultimatum threatening to blow the lid on the 'Spygate' row by providing the FIA with incriminating e-mails – unless
he was instated as the clear number one driver at the Woking-based outfit.
Now competing for Ferrari, Alonso has refused to respond to questions regarding the fresh allegations, but the sport's supremo Ecclestone has acknowledged in an interview with the official F1 website that the 2005 and 2006 title-winner 'is said to be a bit difficult', quipping that whilst an Alonso/Sebastian Vettel pairing at the Prancing Horse would be a dream scenario, he himself would need to be the team principal since 'I don't see anybody [else] able to handle these two guys in the right way...'
When asked who he favours out of Vettel and Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber, meanwhile, the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive fired back: “Very clearly Vettel!”