“You look at drivers like Kimi, Jenson or Felipe and it seems like they could carry on forever, but I probably won’t be like them,” are the words of Fernando Alonso earlier this week after admitting that he is approaching the end of his F1 career.
Alonso is a shrewd man and known to make hints or comments whether it be on team radio or directly to the press. It’s clear that he’s been preparing his devoted fan base to the inevitable reality that McLaren Honda won’t be the team he needs them to be. More than once he’s requested ‘to retire’ from a race whilst running just outside the top ten and who’d have bet Fernando of even just a few years ago wouldn’t be publicly denouncing his failing team for not delivering by now. Instead we have a quiet resignation of the situation with unconvincing post race interviews for future competitiveness.
“When the time comes, I will leave Formula One,” he said in an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe. “When you’re not fast enough, when you no longer enjoy it and when you cannot meet the demands, you know that it is time to leave.
“I feel right now as if I’m approaching the end of my dream.”
The Spanish samurai explained that it would be fitting if he could retire with McLaren.
“When I was a little boy, my father built me a kart with a design inspired by McLaren-Honda and now I am a driver for McLaren-Honda,” he said. “I feel like I can come full circle in a romantic way.”
In the past he’s often expressed a desire to race Le Mans 24 hour along with his friend and fellow racer Mark Webber, and again the FIA WEC blue ribband event was mentioned saying “The life of a Grand Prix driver is very demanding.”
“When I retire from the sport I think I’ll start by enjoying the return to a more normal life. I’m sure I’ll miss competing and the adrenaline rush.
“It’s likely I’ll keep racing in other categories, but one which takes up less time. Le Mans would be perfect, as you don’t have to be away for the full year.”
Unexpected, but understandable – given both the bleak horizon ahead, from a technical perspective, and the ineffective management and governance of the sport…
Go have some fun, Teflon Warrior!
It will be a sad day when he leaves,he dragged the Ferrari into positions it had no right to be in and given the diabolical Mchonda efforts I really can’t blame him. The guy has flaws but I would rather see 1 Alonso type driver over 10 pastor or Scott speeds.
You deserve better Fernando, it’ll be a huge miss but understand completely.
New rules new possibilities.
He will try the 2017 car first. If this is to his liking and competitive, he probably will stay. I wonder if he will leave after te first test, leaving McLaren with only stoffel, because Button went to Williams.
Alonso is under contract until the end of 2017. So it is unlikely he will leave after just a test of the car. Also, you can’t see if you are competitive with just a test. Also, also, engine development is opened for next year, so Honda should be able to catch up if they don’t over the summer already.
Says a lot that he’s not optimistic about 2017. Under the current regs Mclaren-Honda would probably never make it to the top, but with refreshed rules it’s possible they could come out on top but Alonso is suggesting they won’t be!
If that’s the case he should move on to prototypes and enjoy life for sure!