Alonso: 2007 gave wrong impression of my F1 happiness

Fernando Alonso does not believe he is noticeably happier in Formula 1 since making his comeback, saying his season with McLaren in 2007 led to incorrect perceptions of him.

Alonso: 2007 gave wrong impression of my F1 happiness

Two-time F1 world champion Alonso returned to the series last year with Alpine after a two-season break exploring other racing opportunities such as the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Indianapolis 500 and the Dakar Rally.

Alonso scored one podium and helped Alpine finish fifth in the constructors’ championship last year, as well as playing a key role in team-mate Esteban Ocon’s shock win in Hungary.

Alonso said early last season that he was enjoying his return more than expected, having overcome an initial battle to adjust to life back in F1.

Reflecting on the whole season with Alpine, Alonso countered the suggestion that he was now more relaxed and happier than he was when he last raced in F1, and noted that it was a recurring question he faced.

“I probably disagree with that, because when I joined Ferrari, I had exactly the same questions from you guys,” Alonso said.

“I remember perfectly, answering questions: ‘Why do you feel so happy now? Is it being in an Italian team and you are Spanish, it’s a better fit and you feel happy?’ And I said yes, maybe it’s because of that, we have the same sense of humour, we have the same Latin character, so maybe that’s the reason why I’m happy.

“Then I came back to McLaren in 2015, and it was the same comments: ‘Why are you so happy now? Because in Ferrari, you felt a little bit down the last two years and frustrated, and now you seem that even if you are not fighting for the championship and it was the bad seasons of Honda etc, you’re still quite happy off-track, so why that change from Fernando?’

“And then when I was in endurance [racing] or Dakar or Indy: ‘Why are you so much more relaxed now? In Formula 1, you seemed frustrated etc?’ And now it’s the same comment.”

Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Fernando Alonso, Alpine

Photo by: Alpine

Alonso said he thought the incorrect perception about his happiness in F1 stems from 2007, when he spent a fraught season with McLaren alongside then-rookie Lewis Hamilton which ended in his contract being terminated by mutual consent after just a single year.

“I think from 2007 and fighting with Hamilton in a British team, in a British environment, it was the wrong message that people perceived and people spread about me - that from 2007, everyone is surprised about how good I feel and how happy I am,” Alonso said.

“So I think I didn’t change much. I’m happy today, but I don’t think I was not happy in the last seasons.”

Read Also:

Alonso admitted that he felt “tired” towards the end of his last stint in F1 with McLaren prior to his decision to race in other categories at the end of the 2018 season.

“That’s why I stopped Formula 1, because I had other things in my head,” Alonso said.

“But I was still enjoying it and I had a fantastic season also in 2018. With Zak [Brown], I remember we planned the Indy 500 in ’17, and then with Stoffel [Vandoorne], we had a fantastic relationship in ’18.

“We had fun, even if I was retiring, [there were] still a lot of things going on. So yeah. I’m a happy person, even if this message doesn’t get to everyone.”

shares
comments

Related video

Button: "A shame" McLaren didn’t hang on with Honda in F1
Previous article

Button: "A shame" McLaren didn’t hang on with Honda in F1

Next article

How F1 wheel rim covers work, why they were banned and why they’re back

How F1 wheel rim covers work, why they were banned and why they’re back
The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline Plus

The pioneering F1 car that preceded Lotus’s terminal decline

In the hands of Ayrton Senna the actively suspended 99T would be the last F1 race-winning Lotus but, as STUART CODLING reveals, it was a complicated machine that caused more problems than it solved

Formula 1
Feb 5, 2023
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Formula 1
Feb 4, 2023
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023