Former Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice President Norbert Haug admits he suffered a lot because of the intense internal rivalry between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the 2007 Formula 1 season.
Alonso and McLaren fell out during the year as Hamilton made his F1 debut and unexpectedly proved to be a tough challenge for Alonso. Neither driver won the championship, losing out to Kimi Raikkonen by one point at the final round in Brazil
"We could have achieved more, for sure," Haug told Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid pocsat. "I mean, we could have easily done without the Hungary saga in qualifying.
"This was one of the reasons, I mean we had several reasons why, they missed the championship with both drivers and we got punished because both drivers missed [by] one point at the end. Again, if you write that down, it’s a Hollywood movie; forget it, nobody will believe that.
"Today I do not suffer but I suffered a lot at that time; normally you should beat your competitors, not beat yourself. But beating yourself is a lesson I learned as well. That hurts a thousand times as much if you stand in your own way, but you cannot avoid it sometimes."
Haug explained that nobody expected Hamilton to be a rival to Alonso because the Spaniard has just become a two-time F1 world champion.
"When you come to a team that looks like the winning team or one of the winning teams, then you aren't expecting there a newcomer to blow your socks off. It was a level playing field between them," added Haug.
"I remember races like Indianapolis in that year, how they battled on the straightaway, down the start/finish line.
"It was entertaining for you guys, but in the pits or at the pit wall, it was really breath-taking. But, it was a very special form of high level entertainment, I think. We could have made more out of it."