Fernando Alonso insists he is incredibly motivated to win a third Formula 1 title, 16 years on from his last world championship in 2006.
It’s remarkable to think Alonso hasn’t added to his two titles during that period, having come close with Ferrari and being forced to compete in the midfield for the majority of the last 10 years in F1.
“Those years in Ferrari, they were a lot of pressure,” Alonso told the BBC. “We were very close a couple of times and those missed opportunities were quite heavy on the shoulders of everyone.
“The atmosphere in the team was not happy enough at one moment and I decided to stop the relationship there, even if I had two more years’ contract, because it was the best for both parties.
“Now, I still want the third championship so bad, but at the same time I understand how the sport works right now and you have only one car or maximum two when you can fight for the championship.
“You try to build with the team that car, and that process is interesting – how to grow up together with the team, the facilities in the factory and all the resources just to be one of those two teams that can fight for the championship.”
Indy 500 return unlikely for Alonso
Whilst he was unable to race at the front in F1, Alonso turned his attention to the Indy 500 in 2017 and 2019 in a bid to complete motorsport’s triple crown of winning the Monaco GP, the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Indy 500.
The famous American oval race is the only event Alonso is yet to win, but he’s currently not interested in returning to the Indy 500 as his focus is on F1.
“It’s less of a goal now, I have to say,” said Alonso. “The last two attempts in Indy with the aero-screen made me feel the car a little bit different, and talking with some of the colleagues there definitely the cars are more difficult to drive and difficult to follow each other. So it is less fun.
“In 2017, there were a lot of overtakings, and I loved that race. There was a little bit less love in the last couple of years when you cannot overtake.
“And there is the danger factor. In the Indy 500, there are a couple of big crashes every year. Now I am fully focused in F1 and when I stop F1, I don’t know if I will be tempted to try again. It is not a complete no, but I would say it is less of a project.”