Alonso treating Formula 1 exit as a "goodbye"

Fernando Alonso says he sees his decision to leave Formula 1 after the 2018 season as a "goodbye" to the sport.

Alonso treating Formula 1 exit as a "goodbye"

The two-time champion will call time on his grand prix racing career at the end of this year, although he suggested he was open to a return in the future.

"Right now, I am thinking that it's a goodbye," Alonso said at Spa. "But you know, life changes very quickly. And life also taught me in the past how things may change, in a couple of months' time, or years' time.

"As I said also in the press release when we announced the retirement, it is to leave the door open, because I don't have a crystal ball to know what is going to happen in the future.

"So as I said, for me it is a bye-bye, but who knows what will happen in the future?

Alonso insisted that he wanted to leave F1 on his own terms.

"It was a decision that probably I started thinking about last year, and then this year, 2018, there were a lot of changes in the team so I thought that it was worth staying one more year. I enjoy driving these cars with these regulations, the big tyres. I was having fun.

"This year a couple of months ago I decided that it was the right time. I feel strong, I feel driving at a good level and I want to say bye-bye to this sport when I feel strong, not when I feel not competitive, or I don't have any place to go or whatever, and you say bye-bye.

"I prefer to take my own decision and find new challenge that maybe F1 cannot offer me at the moment."

The Spaniard insists that winning in other categories is the best way for him to leave a legacy after he has been unable to extend his tally of two F1 world championships.

Alonso is expected to combine an IndyCar programme with his Toyota WEC commitments in 2019.

"I think the challenges are probably bigger than the challenges that I can find here for next year.

"The triple crown is something I have been saying for a couple of months now, or years – that to be best driver in the world, there are two possibilities, winning eight world championships in F1, which is unlikely now for me, or second is to master different series and different cars.

"In sportscars I think I'm doing quite OK at the moment, so I'm happy with the performance I'm seeing there. The Indy 500 I felt competitive last year, and there are other series that can put you in a different level in motorsport, if you can win with different cars, in different series.

"The possibilities for next year [in F1], they've been a few, or a lot, depends what you look at it. I did not say because as I said also last week because there are probably only two teams which can win and they continue with their drivers for the following years.

"And the F1 we're seeing now was maybe not the F1 I dreamed of as a kid or when I joined in 2001. That's a bigger reason.

"I think definitely it plays a part of it, if you are in one of those two teams you probably keep going even if you don't enjoy the races or trips or amount of years you have been doing the same thing."

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team, in the Thursday press conference

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, and Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team, in the Thursday press conference

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / LAT Images

 

shares
comments
Verstappen questions Ricciardo's Renault move

Previous article

Verstappen questions Ricciardo's Renault move

Next article

Stroll: No guarantees over seeing out 2018 with Williams

Stroll: No guarantees over seeing out 2018 with Williams
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021