Fernando Alonso says 2019 decision is 'goodbye' to F1

Fernando Alonso says his decision to leave Formula 1 in 2019 is a "goodbye" in one of the biggest hints yet that he will not return in the future

Fernando Alonso says 2019 decision is 'goodbye' to F1

Alonso is expected to combine an IndyCar programme with his Toyota WEC commitments in 2019, having announced over the summer break that he would not continue in F1 with McLaren.

"Right now, I am thinking that it's a goodbye," he said. "But 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.

"For me it is a bye-bye, but who knows what will happen?"

Alonso insisted that he wanted to leave F1 on his own terms, having wanted to see how McLaren's changes for 2018 played out before committing to anything.

"It was a decision that probably I started thinking about last year, and then this year, there were a lot of changes into the team, with the engine manufacturer changes and things like that, so I thought that it was worth staying one more year," he said.

"I enjoy driving these cars with these regulations, the big tyres. I was having fun.

"But at the same time I make some changes and some priorities into this year with the WEC championship and other things also towards this direction.

"A couple of months ago I decided that it was the right time, I feel strong, driving 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.

"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.

"I think the challenges [away from F1] are probably bigger than the challenges that I can find here for next year," he said.

"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'm doing 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 motor sport, if you can win.

"There are probably only two teams [in F1] which can win and they continue with their drivers for the following years.

"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."

shares
comments
Verstappen questions Red Bull F1 team-mate Ricciardo's Renault move
Previous article

Verstappen questions Red Bull F1 team-mate Ricciardo's Renault move

Next article

Stroll: Nothing guaranteed over seeing F1 season out with Williams

Stroll: Nothing guaranteed over seeing F1 season out with Williams
Load comments
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022