Fernando Alonso has revealed that it was not his recent results that made his mind up about leaving Formula 1 at the end of the current campaign, instead it was the lack of track action and unpredictability that has seen him opt to walk away after seventeen years in the sport.
The Spaniard says the fact that off-track talk usually usurps what happens on it is a bad sign for the sport in general, and action needs to be taken to safeguard the future of the sport.
Alonso will quit his drive with the McLaren F1 Team at the end of the current campaign having last taken victory in the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix and having last stood on the podium in the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, both of which came whilst he was driving for Scuderia Ferrari.
But it is not his failure to do either on his return to McLaren that has seen him announce his departure from Formula 1, instead it is the poor on-track action that has seen him lose his motivation and move on to pastures new.
“The action on track is not the one I dreamed of when I joined F1, or when I was in different series, or the action on track that I experienced in other years,” Alonso is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com ahead of this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship round at Silverstone, where he will continue his campaign with Toyota Gazoo Racing.
“I stopped because the action on track in my opinion I feel is very poor. In fact, what we talk about more in F1, is off track. We talk about polemics. We talk about radio messages. We talk about all these things, and when we talk so many times about those things, it is a bad sign.
“It is because the on-track action was very poor on that weekend, and that is what I feel in F1 now, and I think there are other series that maybe offer better action, more joy and more happiness, so that is what I try to find.”
Alonso says it is pretty easy to predict results in Formula 1 in the current era, which makes it tough for drivers amid the midfield with ambition to do anything outstanding, and if things do not change he can see other drivers losing the motivation and enthusiasm to race in the sport.
“When I was in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, I was not winning [many] races in those years. But it was difficult to predict [then] what could happen in Spa and Monza,” said the Spaniard.
“Now, we can write down what is going to happen at Spa and Monza. We can put the first 15 positions with maybe one or two mistakes. So how predictable everything became is tough.
“We go to Barcelona and we test the first day of winter testing and you know what you will do until November in Abu Dhabi and it is tough. For me, it is not too much of a problem because after 18 years, as I said before, I achieved more than what I dreamed of.
“But for young drivers or different drivers, it is tough because they just hope that next year the team does an unbelievable step or they receive a call from one or two teams. It became difficult for ambitious drivers.
“[For] a driver with some kind of ambition, it will be tough for the future if things don’t change.”