Fernando Alonso: I miss being in Formula 1 title fights

Fernando Alonso admits he misses being part of Formula 1 championship fights now that it has been four years since he was last in title contention.

Fernando Alonso: I miss being in Formula 1 title fights

Fernando Alonso admits he misses being part of Formula 1 championship fights now that it has been four years since he was last in title contention.

As well as winning the 2005/06 championships, Alonso went into the final races of '07, '10 and '12 with a shot at the crown.

Since then he has had to settle for a distant second to a dominant Sebastian Vettel in 2013, just two podiums in an underwhelming '14 campaign with Ferrari and then two seasons trying to bring the McLaren-Honda up the order.

"I've been lucky enough to experience that feeling five times," he said of being part of a championship fight.

"You train, you do the simulator, you go to the factory, you do events, you do media, you do whatever you do to be competitive on Sundays and fight for the title.

"From the last four years I miss this feeling of arriving with possibilities.

"But on the other hand I feel extremely lucky to have been able to feel that pressure and those emotions already five times, winning two, because there are many colleagues that have huge talent that never even have the chance to race in Formula 1.

"Some of them appear in Formula 1 but never have the chance to experience the podium, the press conference for the top three, never experience the feeling of starting in pole position, or winning one grand prix and they are very, very talented.

"So, of course, I feel very lucky and I miss it."

Alonso regards his 2006 title battle with Michael Schumacher - a Renault/Michelin versus Ferrari/Bridgestone contest - as his toughest.

"When the Bridgestones that year were performing well, he always delivered what he needed and won that race," said Alonso of Schumacher.

"But when Michelin had an advantage and we were quite confident, he was there.

"So on the weekend you were thinking of scoring many more points than him, he'd still be in third, fourth, second, always delivering something extra.

"With all the drivers that I fought, he was the only one able to do that."

Alonso admitted the extent of McLaren-Honda's recent tribulations had been hard to stomach for someone accustomed to success.

"McLaren is the second-best team in history in Formula 1 and when you are fighting for Q1, there is something that is not normal," Alonso said.

"Everybody in the team feels this pressure, these expectations that we are not able to meet yet. This frustrates all of us.

"Second is the personal frustration of not being able to fight for podiums, for victories and sometimes not even delivering what you are able to do because after 10 laps there are some problems so you need to de-tune a little bit the engine, batteries or something.

"Maybe a Sauber comes, they overtake you and everyone cheers a fantastic overtake but we have maybe 100 horsepower less.

"It's not that you forgot to drive, it's just there are situations that are out of our control."

shares
comments
How to fix F1's young-driver problem

Previous article

How to fix F1's young-driver problem

Next article

Carlos Sainz progress in 2016 F1 season 'decisive' - Franz Tost

Carlos Sainz progress in 2016 F1 season 'decisive' - Franz Tost
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Ian Parkes
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021