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McLaren 2008 detail
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Special feature

How a McLaren winner overshadowed by scandal was dealt self-inflicted setbacks

The McLaren MP4-22 should have been a double championship winner in 2007. But neither Fernando Alonso or rookie Lewis Hamilton could bring the drivers' crown back to Woking after a season shrouded in acrimony, which resulted in exclusion from the constructors' classification. It was however Hamilton’s first step on his road towards greatness. Here is its remarkable story

At least one of McLaren’s drivers could and should have won the 2007 world championship. But, owing to an unnecessary clash of egos between them (in which the team foolishly became a participant), and the steady drip of toxic revelations in the ‘Spygate’ scandal that year, McLaren was left empty-handed – and $100million poorer.

What a trajectory. The season began with one of the most extravagant launches ever as McLaren underlined the poaching of title sponsor Vodafone from Ferrari and double world champion driver Fernando Alonso from Renault with a street festival in Valencia. “I’m sure 2007 is going to be a year we’re all going to remember,” said team boss Ron Dennis in a crisply edited promo video from the event. It would, but not for the reasons Ron anticipated.

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