Alonso may be back despite less 'pleasure' in F1

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso says grands prix have become too predictable.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso says grands prix have become too predictable.

SHANGHAI • Although Fernando Alonso is not closing the door on a return to Formula One in 2020, he believes that the sport has changed for the worst and is no longer the one he fell in love with.

The McLaren driver, who is walking away from F1 at the end of the season, told racing website www.speedweek.com of his disillusionment, calling it a "weak show".

"What happens now is not the Formula 1 that made me want to be a racing driver," the Spaniard said.

"I quit F1 because we talk more about what happens next to the track. We talk about polemics and radio messages.

"I could write down the first 15 positions for the result of the next race, perhaps with a few changes of places. I find it hard to accept how predictable it has become. I suppose I find more pleasure in other racing series."

The 37-year-old added that he was considering competing in a variety of different racing series over the next couple of years.

And the two-time F1 world champion, who is still regarded by many as one of the fastest drivers in the world, is unlikely to be short of offers if he decides to race elsewhere.

While he refused to elaborate on which events he was interested in, Alonso said he was keeping an open mind, in addition to his confirmed outings in next year's Indianapolis 500 with McLaren, and the remaining three races of this season's World Endurance Championship with Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Alonso is also due to test a Nascar vehicle as part of a promotional event in Bahrain later this month, fuelling speculation that he plans to compete in the United States-based stock car series.

"There's going to be a couple more challenges than the Indy 500," he told Xinhua on Saturday before the WEC 6 Hours of Shanghai event. "I feel I need to recharge my batteries a bit next year but, in 2020, of course it can be a possibility to have a full season in IndyCar, a full season back in F1, or a full season in another series."

With his enthusiasm for F1 seemingly having dimmed in recent years, Alonso has made no secret of his desire to win motor sport's "Triple Crown", an unofficial collection of three of the world's most prestigious motor races.

Having already won the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he is keen to win the Indy 500 to complete the set, and said that his experience of competing at Indy last year would stand him in good stead.

"That experience is going to be key, because I now know the race and I know the event," he added.

While Alonso weighs up his options, fellow F1 driver Sergio Perez felt his departure showed that the sport needed fixing and it made him "sick" that he was leaving.

"If we put him (Alonso) in another car, he would fight for victory and be world champion again. That's our F1 and we lose him. And we are all in this boat," the Force India racer said.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2018, with the headline 'Alonso may be back despite less 'pleasure' in F1'. Print Edition | Subscribe