Fernando Alonso reveals reason that almost caused F1 retirement

The Spanish driver signed a multi-year extension with Aston Martin in mid-April

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Fernando Alonso revealed that missing his family made him question whether he wanted to remain in Formula 1, but he insisted that he lives and breathes the sport after he signed a contract extension with Aston Martin.

The F1 calendar for the sport continues to grow and in 2024 the drivers will take to the track 30 times in a racing context with 24 Grand Prix and six Sprint Races, meaning that anyone involved in the sport is losing more and more time at home.

That is the sacrifice they must make if they want to pursue a pay cheque, their passion or a dream of becoming a world champion, but as someone with his legacy secure, Alonso had the luxury to quit as Aston Martin linger in the midfield.

“My biggest concern,” Alonso told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “Or the bad side of driving is just missing my family and not having a normal life or my own family at one point or whatever.

“But in this regard, I said, ‘okay I’ll see year by year, month by month’ and I spoke with my family. They will also come more often to races, all of them are coming to Miami now. My mother, my sister, my two nieces.

“We decided and we plan to make some changes for the things I miss or the things that maybe worry me. To keep racing, so I don’t miss those things.”

Alonso rubbishes age and fitness concerns

As a high intensity sport, the physical demands on F1 drivers are strenuous, especially in relation to sustaining g-forces through high-speed corners, concentration and reaction speed and handling extreme temperatures faced at tracks such as Qatar or Singapore.

When F1 drivers age into their 40s, it’s only natural to expect their performance to decline as it does in other sports such as football or athletics and that, in turn, leads to the question of how long competitors want to keep tiring themselves out and Alonso believes his motivation is not anywhere else.

“I love driving too much, I cannot stop at the moment,” Alonso added when asked about his long-term commitment. “I think the sacrifices that you have to make are smaller than the joy of driving and the passion that I have for driving.

“I breathe F1. I live F1. I train to be fit to drive F1 cars. I eat to drive F1 cars. The moment didn’t arrive where I felt that I need to change my lifestyle. My lifestyle is great, and I love what I do.

“So, I will not be happy sitting at home and watching F1 races because, at the moment, I feel that I should still be out there, and I can do a little bit better here or there or I can be faster in these conditions. So that moment [retirement] didn’t arrive.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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