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F1: Alonso explains his reasons for leaving the sport

Jamie Davies
ANALYST
News
346   //    24 Aug 2018, 01:05 IST

F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews
Alonso will leave F1 at the end of the season

Thursday's media day in Spa Francorchamps was expected to be a busy one especially with the return of Fernando Alonso after his announcement of retiring from Formula One.

The two-time world champion earlier this month decided to call it a day of his 17-year career in F1.

It has left fans stunned and sad that one of the best drivers to have ever raced in the sport will be leaving when Alonso is still capable of winning in motorsport.

Back in June, Alonso won Le Mans 24 with Toyota completing the second out of three races to complete the triple crown.

All that remains is the Indy 500 race which many expect Alonso will compete for the second time next year.

Alonso attended Thursday's driver's press conference alongside his successor Carlos Sainz, Renault's new recruit Daniel Ricciardo and the Aussie's replacement at Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.


F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Previews
It's been a busy summer for these three

When Alonso was asked about his decision to discontinue his racing career in F1, the Spaniard stated the thinking towards it began in 2017.

He said: "It was a decision I started last year. This year in 2018 there were a lot of changes into the team with the engine manufacturer (Renault) and the changes with something like that. So I thought that it was worth staying one more year.

Alonso rejoined McLaren for a second spell in 2015 but has been nothing but a miserable term for the 37-year-old.

Between 2015 and 2017, Alonso raced in a McLaren-Honda in which most of his race results saw retirements after retirements.

Last year was the end of a dreadful partnership between McLaren and Honda as the Woking based team welcomed Renault.

The new partnership with the French engine manufacturer kept Alonso on board.

Alonso added: "I enjoyed driving this car and with the new regulations, the big tyres, the big downforce so I was having fun. I think this year it was some kind of joy to keep racing and to have another go.

"But at the same time, I make some changes and some priorities into this year with the WEC Championship and other things towards this direction.

"A couple of months ago, I decided that it was the right time because I feel strong driving at a good level and I want to say bye bye to this sport when I feel strong not when I not feel competitive or don’t have any place to go.

"I prefer to take my own decision and find new challenges that maybe Formula One cannot offer me at the moment."

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Jamie Davies
ANALYST
Your Formula 1 and Tennis Writer.
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