Fernando Alonso has suggested that the hectic 2024 Formula 1 calendar could be the reason he retires from the sport, rather than performance.
In 2024, there will be a record-breaking 16 races with the first race weekend in Bahrain beginning on February 29 and the final race in Abu Dhabi on December 6-8.
The double world champion has had a strong year for Aston Martin with eight podiums and is showing no signs slowing down at the age of 42.
“I said [if] anything, even before 2018 [when he left F1 last], that the day that I will stop racing is not because I feel not motivated for driving,” Alonso told the media.
“Or if I feel slow. I think it will be noticeable and I will be not happy with my performance and I will be the first one to raise my hand and say, ‘Okay, this is the time.’ But I don’t think that that time will arrive because I have extreme self confidence on my performance.
“But it could be that with the calendar and with the demanding schedule and things like that one day, I will feel that it’s time. Because there are other things in life.”
Alonso hints at schedule causing him to leave F1 eventually
The Chinese Grand Prix will return for 2024 and the Emilia Romagna GP is also on the calendar after both races didn’t take place in 2023.
Alonso is the most experienced driver in F1 history with 380 race starts and feels the championship has reached the limit.
“It has been a very demanding season only with 22 races with two cancellations,” said Alonso.
“Next year with 24, we have to see how it feels. Even Las Vegas, I saw that it is in a triple header [in 2024] and then Qatar and Abu Dhabi together. It is things like these three races together that will drain my battery, not driving.”