Alonso felt he was "losing time" in F1 before taking break

Fernando Alonso felt like he was “losing time” racing in Formula 1 prior to his two-year break that allowed him to pursue other series and racing disciplines.

Alonso felt he was "losing time" in F1 before taking break

Two-time world champion Alonso walked away from F1 at the end of 2018 after a difficult four-year spell with McLaren that had failed to yield a single podium finish.

The Spaniard outlined his intention to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice with Toyota and racing at the Indianapolis 500 in 2020.

He also took part in the Dakar Rally and the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, winning the latter in 2019.

But Alonso made his F1 comeback with Alpine for this season after signing a two-year contract, and recently revealed that he was enjoying his return more than he expected.

Asked what he put that down to, Alonso explained he’d felt like he was running out of time to try other challenges after spending so long only focusing on F1.

“Two things are playing a big role on this,” Alonso said.

“One was I think the two years out of the sport was needed for me after 18 seasons in Formula 1 non-stop, with full dedication. It was too demanding at one point.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 leads Lance Stroll, Williams FW41 and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18

Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33 leads Lance Stroll, Williams FW41 and Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“I had in my head other challenges with Le Mans, with Daytona, with the World Endurance Championship possibility etc, I had to do those in a way and tick those boxes to be happy, and to be free to come back and enjoy.

“Until I was not doing those challenges, I thought that I was losing time in F1, some of the last seasons before '18. So once those challenges were completed, now I'm freer in a way to enjoy every weekend here.”

Alonso explained that the second factor aiding his enjoyment was how well he had fit in with the Alpine team. It marks his third stint with the Enstone-based operation, having previously driven for Renault in 2003-2006 and 2008-2009.

“The second is the team, I think the team is amazing,” Alonso said.

“You know what atmosphere we have now, what motivation we have in the team in Enstone, in Viry - the hard work that everyone is putting in, how we approach every weekend, how we approach the little success that we have some weekends, and how we approach the bad moments in some other weekends.

“We are all united in the same direction, and this feels very good every week.”

shares
comments

Related video

Williams tweaks bargeboards to reduce wind sensitivity problem

Previous article

Williams tweaks bargeboards to reduce wind sensitivity problem

Next article

Vettel: 'Wild' costs of junior categories need to be cut

Vettel: 'Wild' costs of junior categories need to be cut
Load comments
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021
Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success Plus

Uncovering Silverstone's engineering secrets for F1 success

Formula 1 returns to Silverstone this weekend, but despite its familiarity to all the teams it is no picnic. Here are five of the key points for engineers to consider prior to the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 16, 2021
The changing faces of F1’s British GP conquerors Plus

The changing faces of F1’s British GP conquerors

The British Grand Prix is where the world championship began in 1950. STUART CODLING looks at six of Formula 1's era-defining cars which have all scored memorable victories in its original race

Formula 1
Jul 15, 2021