Date: 9th February 2015 at 10:15am
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Back in 2007 team status disputes between the then back-to-back Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso and rookie Lewis Hamilton led to a fall out between the Spaniard and the team.

That would evolve through the ‘spygate’ scandal and led to McLaren’s implosion at the end of the season which saw both Hamilton and Alonso miss out on the Formula One World Championship.

Alonso would leave the team after a single season in bitter circumstances and it looked like his relationship with McLaren chairman Ron Dennis was irreversible.

Fast forward eight years and McLaren were desperate for a marquee signing to welcome their new partnership with Honda and Alonso was desperate to cut his losses at Ferrari cancel the remaining two-year deal he had in place and embark on a new project.

It was the perfect fit, it just needed past differences to be put aside.

‘Everyone has moved on and certainly I am mellower [and] I think Fernando is more mature.’ Dennis told Autosport Magazine.

Dennis’s demeanour in recent years is clearly different and Fernando Alonso’s desire for equality with new team-mate and 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button shows how he has also changed.

‘I can promise you one thing with Fernando – he never even asked [for number one status]. In fact the opposite. Total opposite.

‘He said ‘equality, I accept equality’. He has never asked for a single thing to be inserted in the contract.’

Whilst McLaren engineering director Matt Morris added that Alonso has already had a positive effect on the team after the first winter test session.

‘It has been a frustrating few days for him but he is happy, he is going to push us on as a team.

‘His motivation levels when he is in the garage, when he is in the office, or in the simulator is massively high, and that knocks on to everybody else really, it pushes everybody else on.’