Fernando Alonso admitted that he considered quitting Formula 1 at the end of 2017 after three years of misery and underachievement with McLaren-Honda, instead, he has signed on for another year fired up by the advent of Renault power.
Asked in an interview with F1 Racing if he considered throwing in the towel when times were tough, Alonso replied, “Yes, I did think about the possibility of changing series and stopping Formula 1.”
“After I did the Indy 500 last year, when I came back there were a couple of races in Austria, Silverstone when I thought: Maybe next year I could try a different series. I could do full commitment to the triple crown and do Indy and Le Mans and maybe that’s the best thing’.
“But I felt it was not the time for me to step out – not right now, not after these results, not with this feeling. I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life and that I would have this bad taste for the rest of my racing career.”
“So definitely I still want to succeed. There is unfinished business for me and McLaren together. And I think this year is the time all these things will change. I feel pretty sure about that.”
After three years of driving a way underpowered car, engulfed with bad reliability Alonso hopes this is a thing the past, “Back to normality, back to this normal feeling of getting to every grand prix and preparing through practice and qualifying and knowing that you should be in the top five – and if you do well you could be on the podium.”
“And if you do something really special, you could even be a winner. That motivation and that preparation have been the things I’ve missed. But these are things that I hope to have this year. That’s the biggest expectation,” explained Alonso.
McLaren and Alonso himself endured a painful eight days of testing as a number of Renault engine related issues severely curtailed their mileage, but the team was adamant that problems were minor and were relieved to have issues in testing rather than on a race weekends.
Big Question: Will Fernando accept another season of below-par results and frustration with McLaren?