Fernando Alonso has denied that McLaren asked him to adopt a ‘new image’ for 2007 after winning two world titles for Renault.
The newly Mercedes-powered Spaniard sported a cropped haircut and a new silver and black helmet design in Valencia last night as the wraps were pulled off the MP4-22 in a spectacular launch event.
More than 100,000 spectators – including F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone – congregated at Valencia’s beautiful Arts and Sciences complex to catch a glimpse of Alonso and his rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton in action on a temporary circuit.
Asked specifically about his haircut, 25-year-old Alonso insisted: “It was my decision alone and nothing to do with the team.
“In fact, I thought about doing it at the end of last year, but I am very superstitious and I decided to leave it until the start of 2007.”
Alonso and Hamilton’s new car for 2007 appeared to be a conservative development of the MP4-21, with the most notable difference being the number ‘1’ on the nose and the appearance of bright orange on the drivers’ overalls.