Alonso already got McLaren offer in 2005: ‘Didn’t have his phone number’

On the Spanish channel DAZN, the documentary “2005, el año que cambió nuestra vida” about Fernando Alonso can be viewed from today. The film looks back at the 2005 season, in which Alonso won his first world championship and single-handedly made Formula 1 a popular sport in Spain. Pedro de la Rosa also takes the floor and tells a nice anecdote.

After world championships in 2005 and 2006, Alonso left Renault and made the move to the McLaren team. De la Rosa explains that he himself played a major role in contracting Alonso. In 2005 he had to personally call up his compatriot to make him a contract proposal.

Alonso to McLaren

This all played out prior to the Brazilian Grand Prix. “Ron Dennis called me and said, ‘Pedro, I want you to make Fernando an offer to sign for 2007, I know he has a valid contract next year (for 2006, ed.)’. And I said ‘OK, I’ll do it on Monday’. And he said ‘no, Pedro, you have not understood me. It has to be before he is crowned world champion, because I want him to know that the interest is there before he becomes champion, because if he becomes champion, everybody will want him,” De la Rosa said.

The 105-time GP competitor was himself McLaren’s test driver at the time, and his rivalry with Alonso was intense. De la Rosa explains that he did not have the number of the current Alpine driver. “I had no relationship with Fernando, we were rivals. But because of that, our relationship became much closer. I, as a reserve driver, made Fernando an offer to join McLaren when I wanted to become a McLaren driver,” he says.

Not a happy marriage

Alonso came to drive alongside Lewis Hamilton and that did not turn out to be a good combination. The two top drivers did not become friends at all. That year Hamilton finished second in the World Championship, with Alonso behind him on P3. After only one season Alonso left with the reason that the cooperation with the team did not work out.

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