Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Silverstone, 2018

Alonso says he won’t be racing in F1 in 2021

2021 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso says he won’t be racing in Formula 1 in 2021, when the championship’s new tyre regulations come into force.

Asked by RaceFans what he thought of plans to introduce 18-inch wheels in 2021, Alonso said “I think it’s not a big thing. I will not be here in 2021 so I don’t care.”

Alonso entered F1 in 2001 and started his 300th race earlier this year.

F1 also plans to reduce the width of the front wheels and ban the use of tyre warmers from 2021. Alonso’s team mate Stoffel Vandoorne played down the effect of the changes.

“I don’t think it will change very much,” he said. “There’s already a lot of series that don’t have tyre blankets so I think whatever tyre manufacturer it will be I think they will get on top of that.

“The rims they’ve kind of tested a couple of years ago as well. I think it’s quite easy for the teams to adjust to that.”

Alonso said F1 should prioritise addressing the tyre rules for practice sessions. Few drivers took part in the final practice session in Germany, which Alonso blamed on the tyre rules.

“For me it is more important to solve the problem like [this]. It happened in France and it happened [in Germany] again.

“When it rains in FP3 we have 50,000 people in the grandstand watching no action because we don’t have an extra set of tyres to run in FP3.

“The tyres are the ones you use in qualifying and in the race and in case of a wet qualifying or a wet race you save the tyres and we have 50,000 people here and millions of people watching television with no car action. So we need to fix some other things before the future rules.”

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33 comments on “Alonso says he won’t be racing in F1 in 2021”

  1. Quite understandable hoping he takes the triple crown in nxt 2 years or so.

    1. A “triple crown” meant something 50 years ago, when the Indy 500 was part of the world championship, Le Mans had great prestige.

      Nowadays LMP1 is literally a one team, two car championship with second rate drivers (apart from Alonso).

      Indycar is a domestic spec series where the drivers are even worse again.

      Alonso is pushing this narrative where to be a “complete” driver you need to demonstrate you can win across multiple series.

      Only reason is because his F1 career has become a sad story of burned bridges and wasted opportunities. He knows he’ll never get a competitive drive ever again.

      This chasing of triple crowns gives purpose to his life. Helps him sleep at night as Vettel or Hamilton win their 5th championship this year.

      1. @anon A bitter summation there. Obviously not a fan of FA, and that’s ok, but along with that are some obvious inaccuracies and jabs based on nothing in reality. In the end, being a two time WDC is far from a sad story. The alleged and debatable ‘burned bridges’ and the ‘wasted opportunities’ are merely the result of FA not having a crystal ball. And boiling driver’s down to their numbers of WDC(s) is what is truly sad. Even having one puts a driver in a highly elite and small group of drivers that have ever achieved that. Trashing a driver for having less than another, when even having one is very very special, makes me wonder why F1 is so enthralling for you to even bother with. If you don’t have five your nothing then? How about all the other true greats that don’t have five? How about Gilles who is legendary and didn’t win one? This ‘chasing of triple crowns’ is also this driver loving racing. But then you’re in no frame of mind to admit that.

        1. For a driver of Alonso’s talent, it is a shame he only has 2 WDC, and burning Mclaren and Ferrari were Alonso’s choices which cost him several more with hindsight… it is a bit sad.

          1. Divided by Moss’ title count one would still get undefined so it’s not too bad.

      2. when the Indy 500 was part of the world championship

        Graham Hill won in 1966

        Le Mans had great prestige.

        Why doesn’t it now? A lot of F1 title wins are in cars with that kind of dominance anyway.

        with second rate drivers (apart from Alonso).

        Indycar is a domestic spec series where the drivers are even worse again

        which is different from when the Indy 500 was part of the World Championship because? (besides this was a time when a 2-wheel champion moved to 4 wheels and hit the ground more running that I’m sure Marquez would today if he moved to 4 wheels). Besides, the first non-American Indy 500 winner since Paul von Hindenburg died was Jim Clark in 1965. The Indy 500 wasn’t part of the world championship anymore.

      3. Nowadays LMP1 is literally a one team, two car championship

        So it’s a bit like F1 between 2014-2016 :P

        1. @coldfly I understand it’s a (back handed) joke, but at least F1 had 2 more teams with the inclination to win, but they were just not very good.

          That’s not the same as having literally only one actual LMP1 team. With a few LPM2 teams “upgraded” to “LMP1-B” to pretend there was at least some competition.

          1. That doesn’t take away anything from Alonso’s brilliant performance at Le Mans this year. The Le Mans 24 Hours is the Le Mans 24 Hours, and nothing can take away its glory. If he wins the Indy 500 too, Alonso will go down in history as one of the very few drivers to have Formula 1 and WEC championships (assuming he wins it) as well as the Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours wins. And Alonso has also shown interest in the Dakar. All these will surely give him enviable records which neither Hamilton nor Vettel can ever attain. It will give Alonso a distinct identity in the record books.

  2. So, apparently, it’s now confirmed that he will continue racing in F1 for two more seasons at max.

  3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    26th July 2018, 10:08

    If he doesn’t plan to be around in 2021 then realistically he will not be here next year. 2021 at the earliest is when he has the slightest chance of making podiums or wins and even that is a big stretch at this stage.

    Alonso will be missed!

    1. Alonso will be missed!

      Not by me!

      1. Me neither

      2. No one asked you guys.

    2. And.. Yeees not by me either. 😉

  4. Good move for Mclaren with James Key!

    1. Finally something positive by McLaren! I just wonder what his motivation is.

      1. I can only imagine it’s the £££ and challenge because certainly with a full RB rear end and increased cooperation between TR and the big team as they push to get Honda up to par I would have thought it was an exciting time for Torro Rosso.

  5. Seeing that headline really struck me and saddened me at first blush, and then of course I quickly remembered that he does only have a small number of years left in F1 so it makes sense. Still, like him or not he has been and continues to be great for F1. One of F1’s true icons as a WDC.

    1. I had exactly the same feeling, @robbie.
      Only (max) 2 more years of a talented driver like Alonso seems little.

      I’m not too worried about his age yet; he has shown us some excellent drives this year.

  6. Alonso has posted, five days ago, the next tweet in his account: https://twitter.com/alo_oficial/status/1020739987871076352

    (Translated) “Oh! For those who read “2021” from copy and paste reports, you have to be here and listen to the ironic tone and the laughs we had… 😘”

    So… tipical “Alonspeak”

  7. Is Alonso racing in F1 today? I thought he left already after joining McLaren. There is just a husk turning up and cashing the cheques.

    1. That ‘husk’ has put up some sensational performances in an ailing McLaren–it’s not Alonso’s fault you’re blinded by the limits of his machinery.

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      26th July 2018, 15:02

      Fastest husk I seen since Joe Montana

      1. The husk that goes elsewhere to race whenever possible. Nothing to do with his weak car, his heart is not in it. That is why he is a shell of the man he used to be. He’s just here to cash cheques and be cryptic. When he leaves for pastures new you’ll have read it here first. You’ll look back and see the signs he’s been painting for years. He knows it but there are million$ of reasons for him to show up on Sundays. More fool Mclaren to keep him around.

  8. Bernie's Lizardman Grandpa
    26th July 2018, 13:45

    In other momentous Earth-shattering news, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I won’t be racing in F1 in 2021.

  9. Given McLaren have next to zero chance of winning the championship and maybe even races before then other than the paycheck what is keeping Alonso in F1 anymore?

    Why he doesn’t make the move over to Indycar now where he’d be a superstar I don’t know.

    1. @philipgb He’s still getting something like $30 million a year.

      1. Yeah aside from there being contracts in place that he would be in no hurry, or not need to break prematurely, there’s his pay and his sponsorship deals tied in with F1…wouldn’t be surprised if combined those would add up to at least $100 mill over the next two years. Not that he needs the money. Then there’s the concept, apparently, of him doing something in IndyCar and my understanding is that will be via McLaren too. Not sure if he wants to do IndyCar full time eventually or just keep running the 500. But if that still needs time to evolve and be developed, then staying at Mac while that is being done makes sense.

        He is already a superstar and always will be as an F1 Champion and a Lemans winner, so no hurry to go to IndyCar yet to be the superstar he already is anyway and will be if and when he does go there.

  10. MG (@itiswhatitisnt)
    26th July 2018, 16:52

    Be great to up-vote some good comments on this site.

  11. Finally some good news.. Won’t miss that primadonna cry baby a bit.

  12. This year it’s fairly clear on the track that his motivation’s sapped, not the same body language as years past… beside all the political stuff, still a generational talent that should walk away with more than his two championships.

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