Fernando Alonso has revealed says he opted to leave Formula 1 at the end of the 2018 season as he had ‘other things’ on his agenda, including the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Indianapolis 500.
The 2005 and 2006 World Champion left his role with the McLaren F1 Team and joined up with the Toyota Gazoo Racing outfit for an attack on the World Endurance Championship and a second 24 Hours of Mans, while he also attempted to complete the fabled ‘Triple Crown’, attacking the Indy 500 first with McLaren and then with Arrow McLaren SP.
In his time away, he also took time to compete in the Rolex 24 of Daytona and the Dakar Rally, but now he feels the time is right to switch his attention back to Formula 1 with the Alpine F1 Team.
“I had other things on my mind, and my head was busy on IndyCar and the ‘Triple Crown’ goal,” said Alonso on the WTF1 podcast. “I wanted to finish the World Endurance Championship in the best way possible. At that time Australia [Grand Prix] and Sebring 2019 were clashing.
“I wanted to win the World Endurance Championship, I wanted to complete the second Le Mans, I had Daytona, the Rolex 24 with Cadillac on my mind as well. I had the feeling I could try Dakar again also in 2020.
“I had too many things in my head that were not F1. F1 was not appealing at that time for me, it was not offering what other series were offering at that time.
“So I thought ‘look, it’s better to stop here, I don’t know if I will come back with the new regulations in 2021 or not, so let’s say this is my final race’.”
He might have missed out on completing the legendary ‘Triple Crown’ after failing to hit victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but for now, Alonso is ready to return to Formula 1 feeling fresh and sharp.
“After I completed some of those challenges, missing only the Indy500, I thought this was the right time to come back, even if the new regulations are for 2022,” added Alonso. “I feel good, I feel young, I feel sharp, so let’s try again.”