Photo: McLaren-Honda F1 Team

Alonso Mentions Interest in Formula 1 Exit if 2017 ‘Not Enjoyable’

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

Current McLaren-Honda driver and two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso is debating leaving the sport once his contract expires next season if the 2017 regulations fail to bring back enjoyment into grand prix racing.

“I think in the last couple of years especially with this turbo engine era I think the car is a little different to drive,” said Alonso, in Thursday’s press conference at Spa-Francorchamps.

“I don’t say that’s better or worse, everyone will have his opinion, I’ve been lucky enough to drive 2003 cars, 2004, 5 even until 2009 the cars were in my opinion more extreme, more Formula One cars. Now when I see GP2 running three seconds away or something like that in FP1 it feels a little bit sad.

“The cars are heavy, no grip, we save fuel, we save tires, we save everything from lap one so it’s a little bit against the instinct of the driver.

“It’s not related to whether you’re competitive or not or whether you’re out of Q1 or you are winning a championship it’s just whether you’re enjoying or not enjoying and right now in my opinion the cars are not enjoyable.

“But probably because I drove older cars: if you arrive now to Formula One then the cars now are very fast and fun to drive but not for me anymore.”

The Spaniard admitting that he would need to reevaluate racing in Formula 1 beyond next season when his contract with McLaren expires if the 2017 regulations help enhance the experience.

“Next year I finish my contract with McLaren – the one that I have now – so I will have to make a decision if continue in Formula One or not,” Alonso said.

“I think with the new regs everything will change a little bit. I think if the cars are fun to drive, I will probably stay longer and drive more years in Formula One, and if the cars are still giving me the feeling that I have in the last couple of years probably I will stop.”

Alonso admitted interest earlier in the year on a possible move to the Verizon IndyCar Series and possibly following former Formula 1 Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber to the FIA World Endurance Championship.

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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