Two-time champion retires after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
McLaren driver Fernando Alonso will retire from Formula 1 after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday but the Spanish star has not ruled out returning to the sport some time in the future.
The two-time F1 champion races in his 312th grand prix this weekend and next season will compete in the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with McLaren Racing.
The 37-year-old is aiming to complete motorsport’s elusive “triple crown” and needs a win at the Indy 500 to add to his victories at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Speaking to international media Alonso said he is not interested in a full season in Indycar in 2019 and that the door was not closed on a return to F1 in 2020.
He said: “Seventeen races in America [in Indycar], with everything I would have to learn, maybe 2019 is not the right time. I need to recharge my batteries, but by 2020 the Indycar season could be a possibility, just like a full season in F1 or another championship.”
F1 too predictable
Alonso announced in August that this season, his 17th, would be his last in F1. Planet F1 reports that he has “grown increasingly disillusioned” with the sport.
He said: “What happens now is not the Formula 1 that made me want to be a racing driver. I quit F1 because I think we’re a weak show. 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.”
‘McLaren will be more competitive’
With Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne leaving the team after the Abu Dhabi GP, McLaren will have a new driver line-up next year when Carlos Sainz partners British youngster Lando Norris.
Alonso, who returned to McLaren for a second spell in 2015, believes the team can be optimistic for the 2019 season.
He told F1.com: “I think the car is definitely going to be more competitive next year. From July, we’ve been testing experimental parts [for] next year. I think there’s a lot of optimism in the team with the direction the car took in the last couple of months. We understood our problems.
“We know that last year, the car was very competitive on the chassis side. We know that – we have the GPS to compare, we have our speed in the corners. We lost some of that competitiveness this year, we understood why.
“I think next year, the team will be in a much better position and I’m happy for them.”