F1 return in 2021 unlikely for Alonso as he rules out IndyCar challenge
- Do not expect to see Fernando Alonso lining up on a Formula One grid in 2021. The Spaniard also ruled out a season in IndyCar.
Fernando Alonso indicated a return to Formula One in 2021 is unlikely because of a delay in the introduction of new regulations.
F1 was due to bring in new cars in 2021 to make the sport more competitive and limit the influence of the finances of the respective teams.
However, the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen 10 races of the 2020 season either postponed or cancelled, forced the changes to be pushed back to 2022.
Speaking during an Instagram live session hosted by the 24 Hours of Le Mans account, two-time world champion Alonso said: "It's something that I've been answering since 2018 when I did my last race in Abu Dhabi.
"I wanted to go out a little bit of Formula One because after 18 years of that routine and that pressure on your shoulders, I needed to breathe a little bit out of that environment.
"I always said, look, in 2021, there are new rules in Formula One, I may come [back] because maybe there is more interest and the cars are more balanced, and maybe I'm hungry for traveling again or putting myself in contention.
"It's true that Formula One now delayed the rules to 2022. That's bad news in a way for the sport, because I think they need to balance the cars and they need these new rules as soon as possible.
"But it's a choice that is understandable because with the current situation it was not possible to develop the cars for next year.
"In my personal case, I know more or less what I'm doing next year, and hopefully many of you will know very soon. I cannot say more."
Alonso also dismissed talk of him competing in the IndyCar series for the full season.
The Spaniard raced in the Indy 500 in 2017, when his hopes were doomed by an engine problem, and he failed to qualify in 2019.
A winner of the World Endurance Championship in 2018-19, Alonso would be the first man to win titles in F1, WEC and IndyCar were he to complete an entire season and emerge as champion.
"I don't think so, that was something that I considered maybe two years ago," Alonso said of that prospect. "When I stopped Formula One I was thinking about what to do next, and obviously winning the WEC championship and the Formula One championship, what if one day I'm IndyCar champion? Not only the 500, trying to win the championship in general.
"That would be unique. That would not be the second man in history, that would be the first man in history, and that was always very appealing.
"But, I don't think so, because the commitment to do that will be too high at this part of my life. I think a few years ago, maybe that was a possibility, but right now, to do 16 or 17 races, to know all the circuits — because they race at Laguna Seca, they race at Mid Ohio, they race at Long Beach — there are circuits that they [IndyCar drivers] know very well for many years, and I don't know. I will require a level of preparation or commitment that maybe at this time in life I'm not happy to take.
"The Indy 500 is already a nice commitment and a long preparation for one race, so I cannot imagine for the whole championship. That would be full dedication. And also there are five ovals, that you need to respect. The Indy 500 is already a risk in a way because the speeds are very high and you take that risk because the reward is very high, but to do the other ovals as well is always a concern for myself."