Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

“I’m feeling the strongest here”: Alonso not ready to quit yet

2017 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso says he is at the top of his game and is not ready to stop racing despite facing another tough season at McLaren.

With two days left in pre-season testing McLaren are at the bottom of the times sheets and have completed the fewest laps of any team bar Toro Rosso. But asked how much the team’s plight hurt him Alonso said “Not so much.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
Testing day six in pictures
Alonso said he tries not to get caught up in other people’s reaction. “The people go pessimistic, I go optimistic. The people get over-excited, I’m getting worried.”

“I feel confident that this year we will be competitive. I don’t know at which point of the year but we will be competitive and I want to win races, I want to be in the podium.”

“And if everything goes in the wrong direction I will attack next year. It brings me more motivation to continue and to win because I will not stop racing without a good feeling and a good result that I think I deserve.”

Alonso says he feels more capable than ever of taking on his rivals once he has a car which is competitive.

“If one day I feel in the car people I see on the corners that they do fantastic lines, they brake later than me, they accelerate earlier than me, they do better starts than me, that day I will stop and say ‘it’s time’,” he said.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
Alonso: McLaren lacking power and reliability from Honda
“What I’m seeing now is completely the opposite. More than ever, this year, this winter, what I see on the track, what I see in myself it’s at the best level. Now it’s time to attack.”

Alonso has been a staunch critic of the previous generation of Formula One rules and suggested he could leave the sport if they did not change. He has described himself as being much happier with the new, higher-downforce machines.

“I feel really strong driving this year with these cars,” he said. “I can do also my driving style, my quick input on the steering wheel on entries like in the old days.”

“So I’m really enjoying, I feel very strong, I’m feeling the strongest here. But I don’t have the power. I have a lot of time.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 43 comments on ““I’m feeling the strongest here”: Alonso not ready to quit yet”

    1. I can only fear for Alonso that the man who fought for the championship in 2012 (now five years ago!), may well be over-ripe once he gets a good car again, if ever at all.

      He is unsigned for 2018. If Ferrari or Renault have a good showing, or Bottas underperforms, what are the chances of him driving red, yellow, or silver next year?

      1. Depending on what evolves with McHonda this year, and depending on where it is looking like might me the best place to be for 2018, I would say definitely FA will factor into silly season.

      2. To be honest, I think regardless of how well Bottas does, Mercedes are going to want Vettel or Alonso in their car in 2018. Even ignoring the fact they are some of the top racers of all time, for marketing purposes alone, it makes sense.

        I shook my head vigorously and sighed a long noooooo when I saw that Bottas had agreed to a one year contract. I know he believes in himself… but the writing was very clearly on the wall, in my opinion.

      3. let’s not kid ourselves. When mercedes calls him for next year he will accept in a heartbeat. he is so hungry right now that he won’t care if it’s lewis or vettel on his way. This is his last change.

    2. Alonso is the best driver in post Schumacher era, yes, but the bad decisions…

      1. bad decision for racing chances, but not bad at the bank account… he is one of the higher earner if not the highest in current grid…

      2. Juanj, Hamilton is the best driver post Schumacher and only Alonso loyalist cling to your theory. Alonso hasn’t won in 4 years and is NOWHERE close to a podium. The “best” driver is Lewis, not only for his talent but his business saavy. He has managed his F1 career perfectly because he has avoided the long spells of not winning like ALO and VET.

        1. To your point NO DRIVER has been finished with better equipment over the last decade than Lewis. Bravo to him, I question however if he could win in Alonso’s Renault. This is of course only an option… that’s what we’re all relocated to… right?

          1. Holy cow there was some bad spelling there!

        2. Imho, Alonso and Hamilton are the two best drivers on the grid. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other though, as each are good at different things. For example, both are very good in the race, but Hamilton is better in qualifying while Alonso is better on starts. Also, The only reason I believe Hamilton is doing better is because while Alonso has superior financial backing, Hamilton is better in choosing front-running teams, which has played to his advantage. I think both are great drivers, and neither should be put down.

        3. mark jackson
          9th March 2017, 0:41

          Hamilton is fast but far from best. He makes too many mistakes behind the wheel. I rate Alonso and Vettel above Hamilton. I mean, this guy lost to both Button and Rosberg!

          1. Both world champions. Alonso and Vettel have also been beaten before, you know.

          2. No, he beat both Rosberg and Button…and Alonso in his Rookie year! I see ‘fake news’ extends itself to F1 fans as well!

          3. Mark Jackson, Alonso lost too Button in 2015 and Vette Lost to Ricciardo. Why don’t you tell why you really don’t like Hamilton instead coming up with lousy statements everytime.

        4. @Jay Well said mate.

        5. Hamilton has had the advantage of the best car on the grid for the past 3 years. Meanwhile Alonso in a lackluster mclaren has been making people talk about him with his moves. Why do you think Hamilton (or Rosberg for that matter) always says the same thing at the post race interviews? Meanwhile people are genuinely excited to speak to the likes of Alonso, Verstappen and Perez and others. That’s because you see these guys racing and overtaking. The only time I can remember Hamilton doing that was when he started at the back (after taken some rediculous grid penalty for changing engine or summit). That was good to see him overtake drivers but he still got past them (predictably). In short Hamilton is not the best driver on the grid, he has the fastest car but still makes to many mistakes. For this reason he is ranked 7th in the grid for talent IMHO. Ps that’s behind Alonso (he’s #3)

          1. Hamilton has consistently out performed every team mate over a season. Reliability has been the only factor in team mate’s stats

        6. Hamilton has never been in the top 3 drivers without the best car. Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel yes. Alonso in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Raikkonen in 2003, 2005 and 2012, Vettel in 2009 and 2015. Hamilton never

          1. Juanj, Hamilton almost won the title as a rookie and beat Alonso as a rookie. HAM won the title in 08 without the “best” car. No one made Alonso switch teams, so that’s not an excuse.

            1. Dennis word after China 2007: “We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Alonso.”. Nothing more to say. In equality, Hamilton would not have beaten Alonso that year

      3. There weren’t bad decisions at the time when you take away the luxury of hindsight.

      4. Well he was a bad call from the pitwall away from winning the 2010 WDC and he came within a hair’s breath of taking the title in 2012 as well in a car that had no right challenging for the title. McLaren also haven’t exactly been winning everything since Alonso left in 2007…so I don’t think his decisions have been that bad.

    3. So basically it looks like that:

      – Buy when there’s blood in the streets
      – “Forever young” attitude

      Have to admit I like it and respect it a lot. But your’e still dependant on your machinery…

    4. I must admit i would rather Enjoy watching him getting destroyed in a Good car one last time, just for making me read about cringey Samurai quotes and what have you for years on end…

    5. Alonso is such an incredible talent, so sad… It is not impossible that Ricciardo goes to Ferrari in 2018 to replace Kimi and Alonso goes to Red Bull. (wishful thinking). Is there really hope for Honda?

      1. I think Ricciardo already has a contract for Red Bull for 2018.

    6. Poor Alonso… I rate him very highly, but he certainly has made some blunders in his career with regards to choosing teams. He is one of the few drivers on the grid who has the talent & financial backing to go just about wherever he pleases. I think this has helped to fuel somewhat of a sense of entitlement, & that’s why he did things like demand preferential treatment over a certain rookie in 2007 and threatening to blackmail his team to get it (as well as allegedly still insisting on no. 1 status). We all know the end of that story, but in my very humble opinion, Alonso could easily have been champion in 2007 & 2008 if he had focused more on his driving and less on playing at politics & influence. As good as I think Lewis is, he made some appalling mistakes over the course of both those campaigns, & Heikki wasn’t much in the way of intra-team competition in ’08. To be fair, there were a few championships left on the table at Ferrari that I don’t blame him at all for… and ironically, it looks like Vettel stands the best chance at bagging that elusive championship in the red car. Poor Alonso…

      1. He also was Massively Lucky in 05 and slightly Lucky in 06 to win (some People whine about rosbergs 16 campaign) and bottled It in 10 by not being able to Pass petrov, all time Great legendary defender.
        He later whined about petrov Not Letting him through like a true Champion.

        Face It, alonso got all he deserves and a couple more.

        1. I’ll agree that he had pretty good luck during both his championship years, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ticked off about all the Renault-engined teams & drivers, as well as Michael Schumacher, on that day in ’10. They let Seb skate through without resistance and fought Alonso tooth and nail. They were well within their right to do it, but I didn’t like it… And I’m not the biggest fan of either Ferrari or Fernando Alonso. Funny how more people complained about Hamilton backing Rosberg up as being unsporting, though…
          Anyway, neither of these posts are to make too many excuses for Alonso. As I said before, I think he’s been the architect of a lot of the misfortune he’s facing, based on poor decisions he’s made… some borne out of his sense of entitlement.

          1. ….Vettel won from pole?

            1. i think he means 2012

    7. Although he can’t fight for win because of his team, but… it’s always someone else’s fault with him.

      1. I don’t like that about him and his fans. They are always ready to blame everyone for Alonso’s inability to win a third.
        -It is Ferrari’s fault that he didn’t win.
        -It’s Petrov’s fault that he defended his position.
        -It is Hamilton’s fault for refusing to be a number 2 driver.
        -It is Ron’s fault because he refused to cede to Alonso’s attempts to arm-twist him.
        -It is Honda’s fault because they did not make a good engine

    8. Classic trash from his mouth, nothing new, he always been like that. He says all that things because he wants to earn more money in the next contract renewal (bleed them dry phylosophy), when he already knows that he hasn’t even make a podium in the team…

    9. This guy is my favorite on the grid right now. For me, my guys/teams don’t have to win. Watching them fight for actual supremecy, would be nice. I don’t comment much on him one way or the other. What’s there really to comment on, overall since, Honda? Such a sad sitiuation these two corps McLaren and Honda can’t come to grips after 3 years, at least so far.

      OT: To any vidyagame players Dirt Rally is fantastic in regular tv mode and VR.

      1. DiRT is nice, but I find WRC6 a lot more fun tbh. It has got better tracks and feels better on tarmac.

        Best handling out of the current rally games is Loeb Rally imo, even though it’s a Milestone game.

    10. When Alonso was moving the McLaren he said it would make sense when it was revealed. We know he is with the team but I’m still waiting for the part where it makes any sense. Joining a losing team and watching your chances of being a champion again wither is madness.

      1. At the time it made perfect sense – there was potential in the manufacturer-backed McLaren, all the while Ferrari was in the process of tearing itself apart, and had lost him two championships due to operational blunders and a wheelie bin car. It was McLaren or bust.

    11. The best Alonso can hope for is that Bottas underperforms against Hamilton and Red Bull AND Ferrari are close enough to challenge Merc at every race.

      Merc will then not have the luxury of a second driver who is 2 tenths off the pace every week.

      1. Completely agree. Mercedes would regret the decision of not to hire Alonso if they miss out on the WCC this year. That’s the best shot Alonso’s got for 2018.

      2. Luckily who every calls the shots at Mercedes watched 2007 and there is no way Mercedes is going to hire both Hamiton and Alonso at the same time.

        1. *ever

        2. @ngwe23 Considered how Alonso cost Mercedes £100 Mil. Fine. Mercedes will not hire Alonso, ever. There are younger and better drivers then Alonso IMO such as Ricciardo.

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