Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso (getty)
Double world champion Fernando Alonso leaves Renault and joins McLaren in time for the 2007 season. After finishing second on his debut in Australia for the team, he wins the second Grand Prix of the year in Malaysia, and follows up with wins in Monaco and Germany.
August 4: At the next race in Hungary is demoted from pole to sixth on the grid after being found guilty by race stewards of deliberately impeding team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the pit lane in qualifying. On the morning of the race he threatens to reveal information relevant to the spy saga unless he is given No.1 status.
An email exchange with McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa proves vital in the case as the team are fined £50million and stripped of all constructors’ points. McLaren drivers escape punishment due to immunity offered by FIA president Max Mosley.
September 30: Despite another victory in Italy, Alonso’s title hopes are hit when he crashes out of the Japanese Grand Prix, failing to get points for the first time in the year.
October 7: In the penultimate race of the season in China, he throws his helmet at a wall and punches a door off its hinges after qualifying in fourth. Goes on to finish second in the race.
October 12: Finishes the last race of the season at Interlagos in Brazil in third to finish in the same position in the drivers’ standings.
November 2: McLaren agree to release Alonso from his contract.