Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Paul Ricard, 2018

Alonso confirms he won’t race in F1 in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Fernando Alonso will not race in Formula 1 next year, McLaren has announced.

The 37-year-old’s decision, which he said was made several months ago, brings to an end an F1 career which began in 2001.

“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on,” said Alonso in a statement. “I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.”

There are nine races left in this year’s championship before Alonso quits the sport. “I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever,” he said.

Alonso is seeking a victory in the Indianapolis 500 to complete a ‘Triple Crown’ of motor racing successes. He has therefore been tipped to move into IndyCar, potentially with a team run by McLaren.

“Let’s see what the future brings,” he said. “New exciting challenges are around the corner.

“I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.”

Alonso has spent the last four seasons with McLaren but hasn’t finished on the podium once. The team’s split from previous engine supplier Honda and move to using Renault power has not significantly improved their performance.

“I want to thank everyone at McLaren,” said Alonso. “My heart is with the team forever.

“I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy. I have built so many great relationships with many fantastic people at McLaren, and they have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and race in other categories. I feel I am a more complete driver now than ever.

“I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. Nevertheless, I would like to sincerely thank Chase Carey and Liberty Media for the efforts made to change my mind and everyone who has contacted me during this time.

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“Finally, I would also like to thank my former teams, team-mates, competitors, colleagues, partners, journalists and everyone I have worked with in my F1 career. And, especially, my fans all over the world. I am quite sure our paths will cross again in the future.”

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown paid tribute to Alonso.

“Fernando is not only an outstanding ambassador for McLaren but also for Formula 1,” said Brown. “His 17 years in the sport, as arguably the pre-eminent driver of his generation and undoubtedly an F1 great, have added another layer to Formula 1’s rich history.

“There is a time for everyone to make a change and Fernando has decided the end of this season to be his. We respect his decision, even if we believe he is in the finest form of his career. Our open dialogue with Fernando has meant we could plan for this eventuality.”

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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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238 comments on “Alonso confirms he won’t race in F1 in 2019”

  1. I guess everyone’s patience wears thin.. I still believe mclaren will be front runners again.

    Indy it is then Nando?

    1. Hopefully. Triple crown awaits him. Reckon he can do at some point before he’s 40. Thing with the indy500 though, is the fastest guy doesn’t always win.

      1. You mean like in F1?

      2. No kidding! Look at Will Power. 10 seasons in Indy until his Indy 500 win.

    2. Agreed, teams probably got fed up with his politicking – everyone except his friend Zak Brown, which is why he had nowhere else to go.

      1. @ho3n3r

        You couldnt be more wrong. The team bosses are weak and have nowhere near his talent hence why Mercedes had to buy out an English engine and team.

        Proved by them bottling hiring Riccairdo.

    3. Mclaren can be front runners but it is going to take lots of time and an engine rule change. Ferrari’s push this year has proven that there are still things to explore in the current engines so engine parity is still far aways off. Ferrari has probably taken the biggest step ahead this year so for renault and honda it is not even about catching up phase yet. It is about matching ferrari’s and mercedes’ development pace. To make sure the deficit doesn’t grow any bigger.

      Mclaren is doing lots of right things. They got rid of honda and this year they reshuffled their engineering team because they built a bad car and were not able to fix it. What happened this year should not happen next year. But at the same time they built a bad car, lost their clear number one driver and have an engine that is only 8th best engine in f1. Best case scenario it is 6th best. Ferrari and mercedes factory teams have the best ones. Sauber, haas, williams, force india and the renault factory team have better engine than mclaren as well. Mclaren has as good engine as red bull and red bull is probably getting more out of it because they have had the engine longer. Best case scenario is renault factory team, red bull and mclaren are equal. Only toro rosso’s honda engine is worse than mclaren’s. That is one deep hole to climb out of just on the chassis side. The engine situation makes it almost impossible because mclaren can not do anything about it.

      1. Peter Scandlyn
        14th August 2018, 20:56

        @socksolid Maccas doing right things….? Yeah. Right, soon as they toss Zak!

    4. Everybody is taking Indy, but what about Formula E. That would be such a big win for the series and a good move for Fernando considering how fast the series is growing. It would also give us a chance to have a truly visual indicator of Alonso’s driving prowess. If I was Agag, I’d be pushing real hard to get Alonso in there.

      1. There’s a Massa post on twitter welcoming him fo Formula E.

    5. McLaren should try get Stroll from Williams. Then they’d have a solid reason for lack of pace.

    6. I think he should have made the Indy move a year ago, as I said here. I’d like to see him as a frontrunner there, rather than struggling in the midfield in F1.

  2. Predictable, but what a loss for F1. Thanks for all those years, I’ll miss you!

    1. @spoutnik Not to stir up rumors, but did you perceive this as a proper retirement or more a Prost 1993. I’ve just thought it interesting that nobody (yet) has used the word ‘retirement.’

      1. More or less it looks like a Prost 1993 or Lauda 1982 thing. Should a proper opportunity occurs, he’ll come back and win the championship.

        In the meantime it’s best to keep himself challenged and refreshed elsewhere as F1 has pretty much stagnated on the development race and the racecraft in general.

        Impressive racer!

        1. More like a Mansell 1993 thing where Mansell went to CART, then returned two two years later and f1 had moved on.

      2. Well, hakinen didnt announced he was retiring either. It was just a year off.

        Years later, when it was obvious that he wouldnt return, he truly announced his retirement.

        1. To be fair, that was on Ron Dennis’s insistence that the door be left open for a return.

          Mika had “retired”, but Ron had kept the door open assuming he’d regret it.

          He didn’t.

          I seem to remember Mika had a test a few years later (maybe 2?) for the team to have a look and see how he felt, but was so, so far off the pace he pretty much officially ended it right there.

          It was only years later when rumours surfaced he could return he properly came out and said “no, i’m retired” to shut it down, but really he was always retired from day 1. Ron just never accepted it!

        2. Any driver who retires because he can’t handle the pressure of fighting for a championship deserves to retire. There shouldn’t be any door open for him on return.

      3. Isn’t that because Alonso is not retiring though @ajpennypacker? He “just” announced that he will not be racing in F1, but he is certain to continue in WEC (as confirmed last year already when Toyota announced him as a driver) and is likely to do at least a few IndyCar races too.

        It is not even sure yet that he quits McLaren since they might still go to IndyCars together. So no, this is no retirement.

      4. georgeboole (@)
        14th August 2018, 18:26

        Well at least he didn’t do a Massa, retiring twice but returning in Formula E.
        I d love a team radio tribute now!

        1. Massa retired from F1 not from racing. And it seens that Alonso is going to FE too. Is the logical place to be, FE is the more competitive open seater after F1.

          1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
            15th August 2018, 10:03

            Alonso is not going to FE, that is a laughable suggestion.

    2. He will come back. Some day, after his endeavours in Indianapolis, he will return. I hope.

  3. There’s a saying that every politician’s career ends in failure, and it seems to happen in motorsport as well. It would have been great to see him bow out with a bit more success in his last season. Whichever series he goes to next, F1’s loss will be their gain.

    1. @nickwyatt That is very true.

      This is quite a unique failure though. I have been following F1 for almost 22 years and almost all the champions who left the sport during this time (Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, Schumacher, Button) left the impression that they were either past their prime (at least in their final season) or had lost the motivation to race in F1. That is not the case with Alonso – everything suggests he is as sharp and committed as ever, despite all the frustration. Rosberg left on a high note because he wanted to do so and he also admitted that the championship year had been mentally exhausting.

      Alonso, however, seems to be ready to keep fighting but all the doors that could potentially lead him to another championship title or at least new race victories are simply closed. The combination of the politics of F1, his character, the bridges he has burned in the past and some bad luck has brought him to this extraordinary situation. There have been suggestions that Alonso would have scored more points if he was driving this year’s Ferrari instead of Vettel and that Ferrari’s new president might have even considered taking the Spaniard back. That is pure speculation of course. But it shows the absurdity of the situation – a driver who is really expected to fight for the world championship is leaving the sport because he cannot even get a car that is capable of occasional podium finishes. I hope that some smart F1 journo is already working on Alonso’s biography – that would be such a bestseller.

      1. @girts @nickwyatt I find it very annoying and intellectually lazy for certain people (especially journalists) to keep pushing the “Alonso the politician” narrative to explain why he hasn’t won more championships. The reality is that in the last 8 years unless you were in a Mercedes or a Red Bull you were not likely to win a championship (We can throw in 2017 as a year when Ferrari could have won, but Sebastian threw it away). The point is that Fernando left Ferrari long before they became competitive. He also wanted to leave. Maybe it was a bit rushed, but Fernando was on his way out. With Sebastian there since, there was never a chance that Fernando would be brought it, regardless of past experiences. Ferrari always have a #1 and #2 driver, or at least for the last 3 decades. Sebastian was chosen as #1.

        Red Bull? Well, clearly Fernando was never going to go there. Not only because RB wouldn’t have been able to afford him but also because RB rise was as shocking and unexpected as was Brawn GP.

        Mercedes? There may have been a chance in the early days (prior to 2010), but he missed Mercedes to join Ferrari. Not a bad choice. Keep in mind that Mercedes was 4 years away from fighting for a championship. Back to 2017/2018, why not take Alonso? Well, why would they? They’ve had the best car on the grid. Valteri is a solid #2 driver good enough to be on the podium with Lewis, but not fast enough to challenge him regularly and stir the pot. Also, Bottas is cheaper by a couple of orders of magnitude.

        So is Fernando Alonso a driver that stirred up controversy and politics wherever he went? Sure, there’s no denying that. But that’s not why he didn’t win more championships. That’s more down to living through a couple of extended eras of two teams massively dominating the sport, and those teams having no viable options or need to hire him.

        For all the stuff that’s said about Fernando politicking, the one that I do hold against him is 2007 as a whole. That was a disaster. But again, demonstrating that politics taking the back seat to money in F1, McLaren is the team that held onto Fernando in the end. They paid him a fortune, helped him broaden his racing portfolio, helped him advance his Kimoa brand.

        1. Alonso was at the best team on the grid in 2007 but got beat/matched by a rookie teammate.

          Then resorted to blackmail in order to be given preferential treatmen.

          All he had to do was beat a rookie, he would have won 2007 and then been at McLaren in 2008 with a car good enough to win a championship with.

          At that stage he would have had 4 in a row and who knows where he would have ended up. He might have found himself in a Mercedes by 2014.

          He only has himself to blame for having just the two championships.

  4. BTCC Fernando, you know it makes sense. And you JB. Stop playing silly buggers over there in Japan.

    1. I would definitely watch that!

    2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      14th August 2018, 20:27

      Mansell style!

        1. He did. But he won his first year. He held both F1 and Indycar titles.

          Everyone crashes at Indycar :)

        2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          14th August 2018, 22:01

          @falken yep! In both 92 and 98, Mansell style!

  5. Makes sense. No point in him driving around in the midfield. Hope he goes for the Indy title next year. That would be exciting. I enjoyed 05-06, Suzuka hurt for me personally but Alonso was a worthy champion. World class. Although I’m not his biggest fan he is an incredible talent that will be missed by f1 and some of the older fans such as my self.

  6. ….And so he goes into the future. What a shame that it has to end like this Nando. All the best for the future though.

  7. Well at the very least I won my bet. Seemed certain to me when his Dad came to see him race at the Spanish GP, nothing like your last home GP to get your family out.

  8. Bye Nando.
    Your driving will be missed.

  9. ” I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy.”
    So I guess what he is saying is only that he won’t be in F1 next year, not closing the door on it forever.

    1. Wishful thinking on his part

    2. Mika Hakkinen and Jenson Button say hi.

      1. What role did Jenson play in McLaren’s resurgence? Last I checked, he was part of their demise.

        1. I was referring to the

          not closing the door on it forever

          Though I guess Button did come back, albeit for one race, but still waiting on Hakkinen’s return from sabbatical…

        2. @kgn11

          What role did Jenson play in McLaren’s resurgence? Last I checked, he was part of their demise

          Part of their demise? Give me a break! Every year he drove for them that they had a race winning car, he won, on multiple occasions.

          Their downfall started in 2013 when they decided to build a whole new car instead of developing the 2012 model, like everyone else did. If any clown thinks anything like that is down to the drivers, you’re insane. But if you do think that, then I guess Hamilton can shoulder just as much of the blame for the 2013 car as Button.

          Are you also saying that Alonso was part of McLarens demise? Hes been there for nearly 4 years and they haven’t improved.

          So there you have it folks and F1 team bosses everywhere, if you build a crap car, just sack your driver’s, cause clearly it’s their fault. Even if they are two of the most experienced and successful the sport has ever seen.

          Well done, very well done. Slow clap for you.

          1. “Every year he drove for them, they had a race winning car”…

            That’s very true, they also had Hamilton there as well & when he left, Jenson said, “this is my team now”

            Their demise started in 2013.

  10. Shame he only won two titles.

    1. He is lucky he even got those two

  11. The biggest snub that no one seems to be talking about is that Nando was the last Renault champion. Renault wanted a driver but instead of recruiting Nando, they went to Ricciardo! For me this is a bigger snub to Nando than all the other top 3 teams that people have been harping on about.

    1. Perhaps because there’s no guarantee that it was Renault who decided not to go with him. Perhaps they contacted a few people, including Alonso, but his mind was already made up, considering it’s unlikely Renault will compete for a few years either

      1. I doubt that very much. Just earlier this year Renault (Alan Prost) said very publicly that Renault is not ready for Alonso yet with is political correctness way of saying we don’t want that person

        1. Correct, I remember Prost saying that.

      2. There are two ways to read this sentence: “I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one.”. You can read it that he was planning to exit f1 or just exit mclaren.

    2. @pking008

      Prost openly admitted that they wouldn’t be fighting for the championship anytime soon, and Alonso didn’t have the time left to wait for another development project. It wasn’t going to work out to have him frustrated for another midfield team in the paddock.

      1. Exactly. What is it about these people who don’t understand it was either Merc or Ferrari. Jeez

    3. @pking008

      The biggest ‘snub’ was Merc or Ferrari not hiring Riccairdo who’s beaten both their number 1’s in the slower Red Bull.

      This also ends the myth they didnt ‘want’ Alonso. They are weak bottlers pandering to their favourites. Remember how bad Merc treated Michael Schumacher when they saw the chance of hiring Hamilton.

      Alonso has more talent than Merc or Ferrari management.

  12. Sad to see him go, and happy to see him go.

    Sad because I want to be able to see the great drivers in F1, and he’s very much one of those. Happy because great drivers should have the chance to fight for race wins, and there’s no way he would have got that chance next year.

  13. He doesn’t deserve this end to his career. He deserves to be remembered as one of F1’s finest talents, and he will be my favourite driver forever. Fare the well, Fernando!

  14. Saddened to hear this decision but was predictable after disaster that was McLaren-Honda. Lets hope he gets that Indy 500 win.

  15. I hope he does indycar next year, his attempt at the indy 500 was my motorsport highlight of 2017, though it might depend on it conflicting with the WEC Schedule.

    1. @emu55 Do you think there’s any chance this is not a proper retirement. I really haven’t seen anyone use that word yet at McLaren. Meaning, do you think this could be a hiatus, akin to Prost in 1993?

      1. yeah, I thought that too, Indy and wec in 2019 with the option to come back in 2020 if McLaren improve.

      2. probably more like Hakkinen post-2001. But who knows.

  16. Not too surprising after all.

    1. Agreed, not at all. He now has the Le Mans 24 and is likely on his way to win the WEC Championship, so a couple of seasons in IndyCar (possibly with some sort of involvement by McLaren) seems to be the most logical move for him at this time. Unless he would prefer to become a journeyman trying to win as many individual classics as he can, such as Indy 500, Bathurst, Daytona 24, etc…

  17. A loss for the sport. Vettel and Lewis can be thankful Fernando didn’t drive better cars (partly due to his own doing)

    1. Wholly due to his own fault. Drove for 3 great teams Mclaren 2x, Renault 2x and the great Ferrari. Who else could he have driven for apart from Merc?

      1. McLaren aren’t great and Renault aren’t great. In this era. Fernando has been great in this era and the last.

      2. @pking008

        The 2 great teams of the last 9 years have been Red Bull and Mercedes. I don’t see how anyone call Ferrari great post 2008 and Renault great at any point in time. McLaren great post 2015? Don’t make me laugh.

      3. He drove for the wrong ‘great’ team at the wrong time.

      4. @pking00

        Another negative post from you. The OP said ‘best cars’.

        Alonso will be remembered for beating Hamilton and Vettel using much slower cars.

        1. Define much slower cars.
          Do you mean a car with handling issues that didn’t get solved year after year, but was very fast on tracks where these handling issues were non-important?
          Do you mean a car with a less performing engine?
          Do you mean a car that’s shredding the tires?

  18. Can other drivers now bid for nr 14?

    1. @mayrton – I believe that since the drivers were given the chance to choose and keep numbers, hence being able to include them in marketing for driver AND team – there is a cooling off period once that driver leaves the series. I have a feeling its 3 years, but that is not fact.

      I’m sure there are many who can correct me of course :)

      1. @ahxshades @mayrton AFAIA, a number will remain reserved for driver x for the first full season that follows that driver’s departure from F1, but then become available again for the season after that, i.e., #14 will still be reserved for Alonso throughout next season, but then for 2020, it’ll become available again so that any driver potentially joining F1 then can choose it if he wishes to.

        1. Thanks. @jerejj – I knew someone would know man :)

    2. Not next year, only in 2020.

    3. Numbers become available two complete seasons after the predecesor last used it in F1, unless the FIA chooses to retire the number. So if Fernando comes back before 2021 begins, #14 will be here waiting for him. At the beginning of 2021, other drivers may take the number if they so choose.

      One-off returns, let alone complete seasons, would reset the counter.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        14th August 2018, 22:22

        Yup two full seasons:
        “A driver’s career in Formula 1 will be deemed to have ended if he does not participate in an Event for two entire consecutive Championship seasons.”

  19. Surely he will go to IndyCar then? Completing the Triple Crowd has got to be very tempting. A full season will also allow him to fight for wins again in an open wheel series.

  20. Gutted to hear this. He should have retired with at least 4 titles.

    Will be fun to watch him in Indycar (if that is indeed where he is going).

  21. I can see it now…

    “Vandoorne crowned 2019 F1 Champion as McLaren Renault turn luck around with ground-breaking comeback car”

    1. I’ll take that, yes, please… ;-)

    2. Vadoorne WDC… McLaren would need to build a rocket car, maybe with a double diffuser and Virgin sponsorship. And not allow Norris in the other car.

      1. This would require Stoffel to be at Mclaren next year, which I doubt he will, Lando and Sainz the experience

  22. “I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons…”

    Why do PR people write such nonsense? Was he enjoying those minutes before he uttered his immortal ‘GP2 engine’ frustrations on the radio, for example?

    And this…

    “There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.”

    And if anyone believes that, great news, I’ve got some brilliant magic beans here which I am prepared to let you have for a very special price.

    1. I think he enjoyed every second, especially knowing some frustrated fans will repeat those words years later.
      Cheers :P

    2. Well said. I called it that he would hang up the gloves. I don’t rate him, he causes more problems in teams he is part of. I wish him luck in the US or wherever he goes. No doubt he’ll destroy those teams too.

      1. Yes, he cost McLaren 100 million back in 2007. Then 8 million last year with the loss of Honda.

        1. I’ll miss your comments next year, @jorge-lardone.
          Fortunately, we still have Max, so you can continue to share your unresolved childhood frustrations.

          1. @coldfly Of course. These frustrations (joke) have to do with being a decent person who appreciates other decent people. In the case of Formula 1, I detest sportingly indecent drivers and appreciate decently sporting drivers.
            Obviously there are fanatics who like just the opposite, that is, they support sportingly indecent drivers and indecent people. Tastes are taste, said my grandmother.
            Either way I’m not the only one on this site who thinks the same, there are dozens of comments from other normal and sensible fans who in one way or another manifest the repulse they feel for the unsporting drivers.
            On the other hand other fans, let’s call them the “hoolignas of the formula 1” think like you do.
            Fortunately, never in life will I meet people like that.

          2. @jorge-lardone, open your eyes and read the comments from most people after your posts. I’m sure your English is good enough to understand that you’re the laughing stock of this site (at least your comments).
            I dislike poor sportsmanship (sportingly indecent drivers) as much as you (say you) do. But I’ve forgiven Vettel since his stupid behaviour in Baku last year. Maybe that was another life lesson from your grandmother which you missed :P

            Read through my comments and you can learn that a real fan can applaud or criticise all 20 drivers when either praise or condemnation is due.
            The real ‘poor sportsmanship’ is the biased/naive fan who can only see good in their own star driver, and bad in the other drivers (especially when they threaten to beat the preferred driver).

          3. @coldfly I love that the site hooligans like you laugh at my comments. That means that my comments are sensible and correct. Saying that you dislike unsportsmanlike drivers and praising two of them permanently takes out your hooligan mask.
            So … be happy hooligan @coldfly and keep admiring indecent drivers (sportingly speaking, of course).

          4. @jorge-lardone

            You’re hilarious! You said you like supporting ‘decent’ drivers and ‘decent sportsman’ yet you support Vettel. I’m sure Vettel’s moment with Hamilton at Baku last year was a decent sporting moment. I’m pretty sure Wing gate and Multi 21 were decent sporting moments from a decent sportsman. I’m pretty sure Vettel’s foul language and insults thrown at other drivers and governing bodies is also the mark of a decent person.

            You also support Ferrari .. LMAO. The team with the most unsportsmanlike conduct in F1. They threaten to quit the sport if they can’t manipulate the rules, or when they fail to win year after year (this is after they possess a veto vote, which is as unsportsmanlike as it gets). Funny, if you were to support a ‘decent’ team you’d be better off supporting any other team on the grid. There isn’t a team with a richer history of cheating, political manipulation and unsportsmanlike conduct than Ferrari… yet your ‘decency radar’ supports Ferrari.

            You’re not a fan of the sport, you’re just a fan of Ferrari and Vettel. Maybe your insights would be appreciate on an Italian and German publication. They’d appreciate your comments there.

          5. Don’t waste your time trying to talk with +1 maniac, he has only eyes to look at one spot.

      2. @jorge-lardone

        Toyota and McLaren have both said it is a myth that he is a problem to work with. They both said he was easy to work with once you realise his determination is off the scale.

        No team has done better since he left. In fact the rot at McLaren was caused by lewis and is unrecovarable.

  23. Farewell Fernando, thanks for the memories. This is a great loss for F1 but it had to come eventually. The triple crown awaits…

    1. Crying never did no one no good no how…

    2. Crying? Fred’s moving to greener pastures.

  24. The F1 grid is now so much weaker without its best driver. Thank you for all these memories through the 13 years I’ve been a fan.

    1. Fernando you are my favourite driver bar none and I will miss you. F1 won’t seem the same next year without you. Your battles with Schumacher are great memories for me but if you do go to IndyCar next year I’ll still be watching you and cheering you on. Farewell Fernando.

    2. Alonso has not been the “best driver” for some years.

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        14th August 2018, 19:08

        He has been the next driver since Schumacher retired.

  25. The enormity of the loss for F1 can hardly be overstated. His stats speak of a hugely successful career: two world championships and three very near misses, over 30 race wins and almost 100 podiums. And yet it feels as though these stats are selling him short. Such is his talent.
    A giant leaves the grid.

    1. Yes. It is a travesty that Nando leaves F1 with only two WDCs to his name. The record sells the man short. I must say I not surprised by this move, but I am crushed nonetheless. F1 just won’t be the same.

  26. I’ve never been much of a fan, but sad to see him go. I think his career will be seen as a reminder that no matter how talented you are, the stuff out of the cockpit matters too, and, after a certain point, becomes decisive.

  27. It doesn’t surprise me. If McLaren is going to take years to recover, better to spend time and energy on sportscars and IndyCar. Hope he has a more fulfilling time in his future endeavors than he has had in the Formula One these past few seasons.

  28. Saw this coming. I think it’s the right time for him to leave. Unfortunately, there isn’t a seat in the sport that will give him a chance to fight for wins and the championship… and a driver of his calibre deserves nothing lesser than that. It’s been difficult watching him race over the past 4 seasons, and I’m glad he’s leaving to taste success in other motorsport categories. I think it goes without saying that he will be a top tier competitor no matter what piece of machinery he decides to drive.

    Got to be grateful to witness a driver like that in my lifetime. His 2005-06 seasons where he ended Ferrari’s and MSC’s domination was fantastic for the sport, and his relentless drives and title chases (even though not fruitful) added tremendous drama and entertainment to the sport. There’s definitely a void to fill in the sport post his departure.

    Adios! To a proper legend and my favourite driver of all time. May you crush other competitor’s in Indy, WEC or any other category you choose.

    1. I concur entirely.

    2. I don´t understand how F1 drops such a charismatic driver so easily, something is utterly wrong in the world of F1 when such a driver like Alonso can´t have competetive machinery year after year. He did his own mistakes but who doesn´t?

      The truth is that F1 needs more Alonso(s) than the contrary, he can find a better environment in WEC, Indy, everybody wants him… except F1 top teams.

      The sport just got poorer…

    3. @todfod Hear, hear, well put, the writing was on the wall, with a McLaren going backwards and unlikely to turn around for 3-4 seasons. Fernando has a chance to pursue some of his other racing goals while still driving at a very high level for 4-5 seasons.

    4. farewell to the racer who was the reason I came back to follow F1 after I was dissapointed by the MSC&Ferrari domination. I hope God sends us another like him. good luck Nando.

    5. Old soldiers never die

  29. And then Mclaren becomes competitive again, lol. He might be a fast driver, but I won’t be sad to see him go. All that money they spent on him can now be used to make improvements to their car

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      14th August 2018, 17:02

      @frazbox the day McLaren has cheap drivers will be the worst day for McLaren. It’s an honor for McLaren to be able to afford a driver like Alonso and pay him the money he deserves.

    2. @frazbox
      The biggest improvement in their car was Alonso.

      1. Exactly. McLaren are going to be even worse without Alonso, unless Stoffel really is just slow and whatever new drivers come in are faster than him.

        Can’t say I’m looking forward to McLaren’s performance next year.

    3. @frazbox

      Alonso increased McLaren’s payments from FOCA by 20 million in 1 season. Zak Brown also quoted this when they re-signed him. ‘he part pays for himself with these extraordinary performances and points’

  30. Been an avid, passionate F1 fan since 1989 – for me, Alonso is the driver I have enjoyed watching above all others. His passion, utter commitment, strength/force of character makes him for me the greatest driver I’ve seen and followed.

    Hard to see how I can enjoy F1 again after this – the likes of Hamilton, Vettel et al just don’t seem to do it for me and I can’t see how anyone ever will again.

    Quite emotional.

    1. Agree. It’s going to be hard to watch F1 with the same level of commitment I did during the Alonso era. It was just a pleasure watching him race every race weekend.

      Got to hope this sport produces another worthy enough talent to support going forward.

      1. It may well do, perhaps Leclerc will develop, but in recent times very driver seems to become more and more homogenised so that they fit into the increasingly narrow confines the media, team bosses, social media etc seem to impose. Alonso somehow harked back to a bygone age and is the last of that breed (I don’t include Raikonnen whose racer’s soul seems to have long-since departed…)

      2. I’m done with F1. The only reason I watched was to see him compete and drive.
        The last 3 1/2 seasons have been him and me. Technology wise, F1 is at the top. Racing wise, it’s a joke.
        We are waiting with open arms Fernando!

      3. @todfod I feel for you as I can totally relate. I have felt what you are feeling now after Gilles, then Ayrton, then Jacques. Upon seeing how well Nico handled MS who at Merc no longer had the mega advantages he enjoyed for a decade at Ferrari, I backed Nico until he retired, albeit not with the same passion as the first three drivers I named. Nico’s handling of MS and his vehement rivalry with LH was enthralling for me. Now for me I am ever so grateful for Max. I believe his error prone days are a temporary blip in his career, a career I believe will be one most drivers will envy. To me he is a stunning talent who will only continue to hone his craft. These five drivers are the ones that have had me with butterflies in my stomach as the lights light up before they go off, my eyes on them at the start, not just the front runners. I have always enjoyed Alonso too…just didn’t have that emotional investment in him enough to feel the butterflies.

        Leclerc and Gasly seem like great up and comers too, but it’s Max who has really sparked my attention. Not trying to sell any one driver on you as it is a personal thing. I hope you find your next driver as soon as possible.

        1. Handling a schumacher at peak is a thing, handling a 41-43 years old one (6 to 8 years beyond the year the age related decline starts and 1 to 3 years beyond the age when the decline speeds up is another), might as well have been ralf schumacher.

          1. Nah I don’t buy that excuse. If you’re in you’re in. You know it’s the pinnacle of racing and you either are up to the task or you’re not. If age was an issue he shouldn’t have come back via Mercedes. That he did made him fair game. If he was a smidge slower due to age that was supposed to be made up for in setup and racing experience. Given MS’s one-sided history on teams the news of MS joining the team could have demoralized Nico, and from what I recall most people thought he’d be toast vs. MS but he wasn’t at all. The only thing MS lacked was all the advantages he had over his teammates and everyone else while he was at Ferrari.

        2. @robbie

          Funny you mention Jacques. He was the first driver I supported when I started watching the sport in 1996. He was quite a character, and the history concerning his dad in F1, made me develop a soft spot for him. But I thought his interest wained after switching to BAR, and although he produced occasional great performances, it just felt like he wasn’t as motivated and hungry for success as much as other competitors on the grid. By 2001, there were already a new breed of racers that had caught my eye – in Montoya, Raikonnen and Alonso. By the time Jacques retired, I don’t think it mattered all that much because he didn’t have anything more he wanted to achieve in the sport anyways. With Alonso it feels like unfinished business.

          There was something about the characters / personalities about the drivers back in the late 90s and early 2000s that is missing in the current generation of drivers. It wasn’t just their talent, but even their attitude and passion felt more real, or relatable, to fans. There are drivers like Verstappen and Leclerc that have loads of talent, and will probably go on to achieve great things, but there’s something rather dull about them outside of the car.

  31. Wise decision. There’s nothing for him at F1 anymore. Now he can properly pursue his own affairs.
    I reckon his topclass driving will be missed, but I won’t say it will be for long. After all, he already wasn’t where he belonged at the grid. However, that’s the way it is, and he was responsible for his own doing.
    He leaves with numbers that makes up for his talent, he left nothing undone.
    Good luck for him, and hail the upcoming generation, which is promising enough.

  32. Ciao Fernando! Thanks for the memories!

    An F1 great and a proper character. He will be sorely missed by this F1 fanatic.

  33. A cautionary tale for future would-be drivers who have the talent to be GOAT. It’s not just about your prowess in the car, you need to build the team around you and harness your destructive impulses when things go wrong.

    Well, hopefully F1’s loss will be IndyCar’s gain. He was exciting at InIndianapolis and his talents would put him right in the mix. His participation would go far to rehabilitate his reputation and elevate the series…if he doesn’t repeat his mistakes.

  34. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    14th August 2018, 17:01

    I always hung on to the hope that we would see more from Fernando, even with the years rolling on. I just feel we were robbed of what should have been. We wanted to see Fernando vs Lewis part II, Fernando vs Seb, Fernando vs Max and ultimately more championships for one of the greatest drivers the sport has seen. I just can’t help but feel short changed by the waste of supreme talent. I can only imagine the frustration Fernando himself has felt.

    All the best Fernando and thanks for the memories, hope to see you fighting at the sharp end of wherever you try your hand next.

    1. + 1 very well stated.

  35. I knew he would call it quits after this season. I think the writing was on the wall as he saw no real improvement in McLaren with Renault power over Honda and knew there was really no way to get another WDC title. With his luck at career moves, McLaren should be on their way to the Constructors Championship within the next three years!

    1. He has the option to come back if that happens..

  36. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    14th August 2018, 17:04

    This is terrible for McLaren – they now need to find a super driver. I’m sure they wished they’d hired Ricciardo cause now Renault has a much better team lineup than McLaren and they don’t even make supercars…

    I think Sainz is a great driver but he’s not the kind of name that a team like McLaren is in need of at this point. They might want to bring in Kimi paired with Sainz.

    1. Michael, I think McLaren has a super driver: Stoffel, who will fully unfold his talent (if God and Zak allow). Now that the exaggerated pampering of just 1 driver in the team will come to an end, it’s very likely we’ll see the Stoff from GP2 and other series. Anyone stating that Fernando crushed Stoff just overlook facts and figures. Crushing the opposition was what Stoff did in GP2, and he could do it again with the support of his team, provided they can design, engineer and build a decent car.

      A shame though that a talented driver like Fernando must leave F1 this way. He would prefer to go on a high, I’m sure.

    2. Renault has a much better team lineup than McLaren and they don’t even make supercars…

      @freelittlebirds I guess the GT-R sort of comes close…sort of.

      Oh and waiting for the next Evo…except that’ll probably some non-Supercar Crossover thingy (not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily).

  37. Inevitable, but still have a feeling of sadness. A double WDC so his career is clearly a success but it could have been so much more, Alonso should be up there with Lewis, Seb and Schumcher for titles. Poor career choices from Alonso but some bad luck also. Leaving Ferrari will probably be his biggest regret, Alonso in last years Ferrari would have been closer if not won the title, I think in this years Ferrari he would blitz the field in most races. In the end his career ended the day he agreed to drive for Mclaren again. Hope he can achieve the triple crown now.

    1. But to stay with a team for 8 or 9 years before the chance to win is asking a lot.
      I think jumping to McLaren was the right choice – it just didn’t work out.

  38. He wouldn’t have went to Renault if they asked.
    It was either Merc or Ferrari as they are the only teams capable of winning. Says a lot about F1.
    I’m happy for him.

  39. Too soon.

    He’s still at the top of his game. Sadly his car isn’t.

  40. Still arguably the best driver on the grid, 2 titles don’t really represent him well enough, wasted years with mclaren. Ferrari should have gave him better machinery, but still came bitterly close to further titles. A true living f1 legend, I hope he has further success outside of f1 to really cement his position as an all time motorsport great.

  41. So much talent. Wish he had stayed in McLaren after 2007. And stayed with Ferrari until now. He would become a 5 time champion this year.
    Hope he wins the Indycar championship in 2019. Not sure if he will have the luck needed for the 500.

  42. A testament that F1 needs more than one or two teams that can win. How many drivers are WCs back there? NEVER to get a chance even to win let alone a podium. Not sure why I tolerated it back in the 80s, but now it’s just annoying.

  43. Good for you Fernando, you will be missed but I am happy for you to be getting out of this situation.

  44. Love him or hate him, the loss of his larger than life personality from F1 is box office gold wherever he lands. The Youtube streaming of his Indy efforts last year showed an interesting and passionate racer. Much less of the diva that he tends to get painted as. There have certainly been some questionable decisions and actions on his part but we all know the same can be said for a number of F1 heroes especially in the modern era.

  45. “Finally, I would also like to thank ( ) especially, my fans all over the world.

    You’re welcome!
    And my I/we thank you for all those great races in F1.

  46. Very sad by this decision .. only 2 championships when I 5hink he drserv3d maybe 5 on talent. Good luck Senor !

  47. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    14th August 2018, 18:27

    He’ll be back in 2020.

  48. His deck chair will come in handy in St. Petersburg for the IndyCar opener.

  49. I think Alonso has made the right decision and it is good for F1, too. Everyone would have loved a fairytale ending where Alonso wins his third title with Mercedes or a similar team. But that will not happen so the only alternative was another frustration-filled F1 season. Watching great drivers at struggling teams can be kind of fun but in Alonso’s case this has been going on far too long and there is no end in sight. He clearly leaves the door to F1 open but right now it looks like the end of one of the most extraordinary F1’s stories of all time.

  50. About time. Like putting a dieing pet down. His career just faded away at a back of the grid team.

      1. What on earth will you do now that Alonso isn’t around to criticize?

        1. He’ll go around putting +1s at every Vettel compliment he can find.

          1. He’ll get excited in his darkroom every time he can put ‘crash max’ in a sentence, @todfod.

  51. Some are calling this a sad sign of F1’s inabiliy to offer a top seat to a top driver. I’m calling this an unavoidable consequence of an impossible person. A great driver, who ruined it for himself. He’ll be missed, but only in the car.

    1. Yup,
      I started fallowing f1 during his Ferrari days, the days where he would glance over at Martin brundle with a permanent “I KNOW your not thinking about asking me a question…” look on his face, so I enjoyed watching him get knocked down a peg…

      Now it’s kinda sad… still doesn’t justify the rockstar attitude though.

    2. @hahostolze

      an impossible person

      That’s not what Toyota and McLaren management recently said.

      They said he is great to work with and very motivating for their staff.

      The people who had problems with him are weak and have less talent. Look at Mercedes and Ferrari now making mistakes and throwing away titles.

  52. It hurts my racing-heart to see him go, but I can very well imagine he wants succes, so goes looking for it somewhere else. I’ve been following F1 since 1999, and still feel he’s one of the best guys i’ve seen in the sport. If he is indeed going to Indycar, than I wil DEFINITELY get a lot more into following it. And next to that, considering he’ll be off of F1, he will be continuing this WEC season, so great if he gets that title as well.

    Gracias fernando! Uno de los mejores. :)

  53. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    14th August 2018, 19:11

    My interest in the sport has reduced further with this news.

    Look forward to seeing his return to F1 in 2020

  54. A driver with a racing culture of the old times and unbelievable racing abilities has gone. It can only be sad news to the whole F1 community. Hope he’ll get the success he deserves in Indy and eventually wins the triple crown.
    Goodbye to the last Samurai of motorsport.

  55. I knew this would happen sooner or later. I’ve followed F1 only since the last half of 2009, I missed both of his championship years, but I could still see the unexplainable talent he had. If more than half of todays grid still seems amateurish, then Alonso was one of the very few you could always rely on. I’m not a huge fan or anything, but losing him really, really hurts. I’d rate him still as high as Lewis or vettel, on the right day maybe even higher. So a loss of a great showman and a part of F1’s heart.

    We’ll miss you Fernando.

  56. “I have enjoyed every single minute”

    Could have fooled me.

  57. This feels like the end of an era really. Fernando won his last title 12 years ago and his only real contemporary is Kimi. If he leaves at the end of the season as well it really will be a changing of the guard.

    I have always admired Fernando as a driver and I remember how pleased I was that he finally brought Schumacher’s winning run to an end back in 2005. I don’t think any of us will ever really know what he is like in private and his difficult side which has been well documented. Like a lot of people though he seems to have mellowed in recent years and been quite accepting of his reduced circumstances.

    I can understand his decision to go now as he was not achieving anything of substance with McLaren. It’s a great shame he has not been able to add to his two WDCs and 32 race wins. He is obviously among the top 3 drivers in the grid. I think only Lewis is really on a par with him. Considering his talent behind the wheel, as many do, I think two titles seem like a meagre reward. There were so many wasted years in his career like his second spell at Renault and the years since he left Ferrari. I bet he regrets that now but hindsight is a wonderful gift and it may have been out of his control.

    I wish him every success in the future and I thank him for all the entertainment he has provided. Good luck Fernando!

  58. Proud_Asturian
    14th August 2018, 20:20

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Run off crying to some other series. You won’t be missed.

  59. Whichever series he joins, the viewing numbers will skyrocket exponentially next year! Every series should be pursuing him since F1 is so predictable right now! Atleast I will follow him to the series he joins and relish his wins and podium finishes.

  60. YellowSubmarine
    14th August 2018, 21:15

    Good riddance.
    A fairly good driver, not in the Hamilton class (it’s revealing that a double defending world champion was equalled in points and beaten on countback by a rookie in the same car, even after the world champion resorted to blocking the rookie during qualifying and demanding team orders so the rookie wouldn’t overtake him at places like Monaco, etc), but a very bad team member.
    It’s instructive that the teams he left generally became better units after he was gone. His constant politicking, looking to turn team members against each other so he could emerge beneficiary – classic megalomania – is the reason all doors are shut to him. His shocking ingratitude cost McLaren hundreds of millions (see ) in lost revenue. And it’s interesting that, while other top drivers like Vettel and Hamilton seemed to bring input into their teams and make their cars better, Alonso seemed to make the cars worse, leading to incessant complaining and embarrassing insults on the radio in the case of his McLaren II stint.
    He probably would have won another championship in the current Ferrari, especially this year when it’s faster than the Mercedes, albeit marginally. But would it have been worth the team wrangles and the chaos he brings with him?
    Nah.

    1. “even after the world champion resorted to blocking the rookie during qualifying and demanding team orders”

      You are not telling the whole story chief. Either you didn’t realize it or you did and tried to pull a fast one and.

      Before ALO blocked the rookie in the pits, HAM blocked him on the track (see video below). He was told to let ALO pass so he (ALO) could get a clear qualifying lap. He refused (no surprise there). That lead to ALO holding up the golden one from getting another qualyfying lap. It’s called tit for tat.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KftRIeJzfnQ

      Hamilton recently said the only driver he ever learned from was ALO. He’s referring to the fact ALO gave him his set-up data from the beginning until he the Hungary incident. Look at Hamiltons finishes after Hungary. Not so good.

      He is regarded as one of the greatest of F1 drivers of all time. Button claims he’s better than HAM. Maasa said he is on par with Schuey. His peers past and acknowledge him as one of, if not the best on the grid despite the fact he’s 37. And you say he’s “a fairly good driver”. LOL

      1. @rick Alonso took Hamilton’s set up also, don’t act as if was one way and Hamilton probably said it to make Alonso feel good.

        1. Proof please.
          As Hamilton said: “Fernando is the only driver I learned from”. The success of HAM’s rookie year was partially due to ALO. No way he ties ALO in points without his help.

      1. This must be a yoke, right? A yoke I tell you

  61. “even if we believe he is in the finest form of his career” When I read this I could only wonder: is he making another bad decision? :-) I will definitely miss him. He is quite a character and a great racer.

  62. Shame to see a guy of his caliber go out at a low, but it was obvious the top 3 weren’t going to take him on so why run around in the mid field. Surely he is bound for Indy.

  63. I agree with the opinion of the world champion Scheckter. Obviously he knows the subject much better …
    https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/scheckter-divisive-alonso-overrated-championships/3158832/

    1. Your hatred for Alonso is next level.

      Funny, as a Ferrari fan you should at least appreciate the years he fought with a rubbish Red car and nearly took 2 championships. Vettel still isn’t half the Ferrari driver Alonso was.

    2. In a sense I’m relieved we won’t hear your constant moaning about Alonso anymore, like a broken record.

    3. The coming form a man with half the WDC’s, who failed to qualify at Monaco in 1980 defending his championship and then quit when the going got tough. I don’t think I will take onboard much of what Scheckter (or you furthermore) have to say on this or any other issue.

  64. It is nice that Alonso hasn’t used this opportunity to shame the F1 brand and elevate himself in the process. In fact, to my mind, it is surprising that this isn’t the case.

    Perhaps the efforts of Chase Carey mentioned in the article were not all directed at keeping him in the sport!

  65. A brilliantly tenacious driver and the best of his generation (between Schumacher’s first retirement in 2006 and Hamilton’s arrival in 2007).

  66. Formula One will be less of a spectacle without him. As a viewer and fan I feel thoroughly annoyed that we haven’t been able to watch him compete properly for a number of years now. Drivers of his caliber going head to head on the track are what I watch the sport for. Admittedly, there are aspects of his personality which are regrettable but I am not naive enough to think anyone who gets as far as he has, is perfect. As a race car driver however he is undeniably brilliant.
    If he does go to IndyCar next year I hope he has a car that allows him to achieve what he wants.

  67. Amazing to think if Schumacher’s engine doesn’t blow up while leading in Japan 2006, Alonso has the one solitary 2005 championship to his name. A season where Kimi had him beat for pace but McLaren had awful reliability.

    People can talk about how he should have more championships, but he could have easily had just the solitary championship.

    If we’re going to talk about the coulda shoulda woulda championships, then we can probably say that Schumacher was unlucky not to have won another 3 in the late 90’s. He was clearly the best driver on the grid in the late 90’s.

    Alonso could have easily had 5, but Schumacher could have easily had 10. Alonso could have easily had one championship too.

    Risking his life in a series as dangerous and Indycars is a big mistake. He’s had some close calls in F1.

    He should ride off into the sunset and find something else to do in life rather than chase a race win in a second-rate domestic series.

    1. If, if if…
      Well, i’m glad he won both his championships as he was the best driver in both those years.
      Was also the best in 2012, but the car gap to Red Bull was just too big on the closing stages, plus Lotus drivers hitting him.

      He could’ve been much bigger? Yes, but in the end the guy was so damn exceptional that even wasting a ton of time with mediocre cars, he still the sixth most successful driver in terms of wins.

      1. Had his chance in 2012. 7 different winners in the first 7 races. Was getting outqualified by Massa in the final races of 2012. Had to resort to breaking the seal on Massa’s gearbox to move him up one spot on the grid at Austin 2012.

        Vettel was the best driver when the pressure was at its highest in 2012 (much like in 2010).

        Bottled it to a driver in his third full season in 2010.

        1. No. You would be half right if Massa had performed on par with Vettel and Hamilton, the fastest guys at the end of that season. He wasn’t even close. Alonso with help from the team achieved the best results possible for the car.

          Ferrari got a big upgrade on the spanish GP that year, but faded slowly until the last race.

          Vettel? He did what he had to do, win races on the fastest car, as it was in 2010. Four on a row, Red Bull being by far the fastest car on three of those.
          When Red Bull was yet to find the jackpot of the coanda diffusers, he was nowhere.

    2. Amazing to think if Schumacher’s engine doesn’t blow up while leading in Japan 2006, Alonso has the one solitary 2005 championship to his name

      Crazy to think if he didn’t get penalised for Hungary 2007, or, if Chris Dyer wasn’t napping at Abu Dhabi 2010, or if Grosjean didn’t tumble over his cockpit in 2012, he would have been a 5 time WDC.

      1. But he’s not. Had a dose of luck to win in 2005. McLaren shot themselves in the feet over and over. Kimi wasn’t clearly quicker that you.

        Alonso bottled it in 2010. I bet Ricciardo wouldn’t have sat behind Petrov for so long. He would have found a way to punt it down the inside.

        Schumacher could have had 10 or 11 if everything went his way as has happened with someone like Lewis Hamilton (been in race winning cars since his first race in F1).

        1. Double standards much?!?

          So he was LUCKY that McLaren dropped the ball in 2005, and that Ferrari had an engine failure in Japan 2006?
          But there was NO LUCK involved in Chris Dyer’s terrible strategic call in 2010, or how he was a victim at Spa 2012?

          Man.. if you’re going to make an argument at least try and remove your double standards and flawed logic.

          I bet Ricciardo wouldn’t have sat behind Petrov for so long. He would have found a way to punt it down the inside.

          I bet Ricciardo would have pressed a button and flown over Petrov. Get out of fairy tale land.

          1. I’m just demonstrating that while Alonso was “unlucky” according to some of his fans, he was slightly lucky win championships in 2005 and 2006. Two seems about right.

          2. Ferrrari should be ashamed to this day about Abu Dhabi 2010.
            The guys forgot completely about the best strategy for the race to follow Webber. That was so stupid it’s borderline unbelievable.

    3. amazing to think if Schumacher’s engine doesn’t blow up while leading in Japan 2006, Alonso has the one solitary 2005

      amazing to think you’re obviously too young to acknowledge Alonso’s wheel fell off in the best wet drive in F1 history at Hungary 2006 a few races before Schumacher’s engine blowing (engine blew as Alonso was preparing to overtake him anyway, lapping 1 sec faster)

      Here’s Alonso owning Schumacher in the wet during 2006

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-ZMQpdX9HQ&frags=pl%2Cwn

      1. Michelin were much better in the wet in 2006.

        You’d know that if you watched the races.

        But the fact remains, if Schumacher’s engine doesn’t blow in Suzuka, he likely has 8 titles to Alonso’s one.

        1. If it wasn’t Max and Bernie in charge wanting to create a new icon post-Senna, he might not have been allowed to whack DH in his illegal car and keep his first WDC.

      2. Agree with anon in the wet, there’s no skill overtaking someone with a tyre that is 3 sec slower, else schumacher does the same in indianapolis 2003, forgot that? Thanks, bridgestones were 2 sec faster than michelin, you could clearly see the situation reversed by 2006.

    4. Schumacher certainly should’ve had more titles, even if he had taken a better decision on retirement, staying 2 more years and then retiring in 2009.

      Alonso arguably could’ve lost both 2005 and 2006 but deserved more the 2010 and 2012, where he dragged an uncompetitive ferrari to the last round, and certainly deserved a better car for the later part of his career.

      As far as 2005 goes, mclaren was a lot faster than renault, so it’s not certain that raikkonen would’ve won the title had he been alonso’s team mate at renault, as for 2006 the engine failure was annoying as a schumacher fan, but it’s not enough for title, he would also need to not puncture the tyre on fisichella in brazil, he might take it slower ofc and do it, but we’d be talking about 1 mechanical problem in qualifying vs 2 mechanical DNF for alonso in the races, as in reliability wasn’t unfair that year, the problem were some mistakes schumacher should’ve avoided, that cost like 16 points in total, which alonso didn’t make, probably being 37, a little beyond the peak was the reason for them, since he was still really fast.

      1. I forgot about Fisichella slicing his tyre in Brazil.

        You could only imagine the conspiracy theories coming out of Mercedes if Kimi does that to Hamilton in Abu Dhabi.

        Alonso was a worthy champion in 2006. I’m not arguing that. Just that he could have easily ended up with no titles or just the one. Luck went his way in 2005 and 2006, could argue it didn’t in 2010 and 2012. Although, Abu Dhabi 2010 was self inflicted Alonso resorted to breaking the seal of Massa’s gearbox USA 2012 to move up one spot on the grid and should have beaten Kimi in the Lotus in Abu Dhabi 2012. That was his chance to capitalise but Kimi beat him in a slower car and Vettel came storming back to get 3rd.

        2007 he had the best car on the grid but was beaten/matched by a rookie. Resorted to blackmailing the team in order to have preferential treatment.

        Just had to beat a rookie to be champion in 2007, would have stayed at McLaren and had a car good enough to win the championship in 2008.

        But he didn’t so that’s why he has two championships and isn’t a top 10 driver of all time like he could have been.

  68. Farewell Alonso. For all their rule changes and talk of improving the show yada yada, the number one reason why I and everyone I knew drifted away from following F1 to the degree we used to, is that internal team politics denies us the opportunity of watching the best drivers race each other in all but the rarest of years. What is the use of a series where straight fights between the top five or six drivers are as rare as snakes teeth, and the best driver of them all is left on the sidelines and finally quits too soon? Yes, there are many things that could be done to equalise the cars, but three car teams would have done a great deal to remove the central issue, that there are only ever a couple of top teams at a time and each of those will generally only field one top driver at a time. When two top drivers are side by side it’s usually just by accident – no-one expected Hamilton to take the fight to Alonso from the first race, nor Ricciardo to best Vettel – and when they do they are instantly separated or quickly choose to separate themselves knowing full well each team will ultimately place all its chips on one driver. If the constructors’ carried bigger prize money and teams had three cars, they’d be obliged to fill their seats with the best they could find, and let them duke it out. But the great battles we could be seeing almost never happen any more.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      15th August 2018, 8:23

      Well said.

      I like your mention of three car teams. It just shows how broken Formula One is. Why is it allowing this to happen? We have drivers like Stroll (who I like but he is not up to it) and lose drivers like Alonso. Just crazy.

      The Formula One rule makers need to take note. This is their fault. If more teams had a chance of winning Fernando would not be leaving. That’s a fact. Shame on them.

  69. For all those that spout the ‘Alonso’s an impossible person’ narrative – isn’t it interesting that he’s so clearly universally lauded amongst his peers? Both past and present…says a lot.

    1. Exactly. Alonso is either the protagonist to his fans, or the antagonist to his detractors, either ways, he has been an essential ingredient to formula 1. Without him on the grid for the past 17 seasons formula 1 wouldn’t really be the same. His talent, determination and focus was undeniable regardless of whether you’re a fan or not.

      I don’t think there’s been any driver that added more value to the sport than Alonso did post Schumacher. Maybe Hamilton comes close.. But no other driver really stands out as an essential part of the sport as Alonso did.

      1. What values that he added to the sport?
        1) Jealous of all the people that beat him fair and square like Vettel, Hamilton, Button, ….
        2) Blackmail to bosses and send a teammate to the barriers in order to get a decent result and save his year.
        3) Public insults to their own teams everyday (Ferrari, Honda).
        4) Lack of respect for their bosses (Dennis, Mattiaci….)
        5) Public insults to the sport that gave him the glory (2005, 2006) where the last years of good F1 he said, after that the sport turned into a nonsense (he declared that many times).
        …………………………

        1. Lucky guy too to have Briatore in his corner.

          Sacked Trulli from Renault in 2004 despite leading Fred in the championship.

          Maybe Alonso gave Briatore an ultimatum. Who knows.

          1. The same Briatore that provided lucky MS his illegal Benettons?

          2. The McLaren was illegal. Not the Benetton.

            Senna was throwing cheating accusations out there because he was being beaten by the young upstart.

            Hamilton was accusing Red Bull of using traction control back in 2013.

          3. So then I’ve invented the skid plate infraction, the accusations of illegal traction control, and the fueling valve debacle. I guess the team wasn’t fined at all and MS never banned from some races then either.

        2. 1) They never beat him fair and square he has never had a dominant car over a season in his career.
          2) He didnt blackmail bosses. He had a heated argument where he made a threat which he appologised. He knew nothing about Piquet’s crash according to Max Mosely who had a private investigator and the Police question him.
          3) Ferrari and Honda could have cut his radio if they didn’t like it or they thought snowflake fans would get offended.
          4) He had his hair cut short for Dennis and Dennis re-hired him, regretting not supporting him in 2007.
          5) He gave his opinion about rule changes when asked and called F1 ‘not a sport’ when Ferrari claimed the air from his car impeded Massa, when Massa admitted it didn’t

          1. Alonso had the best car on the grid in 2007 but was beat by his teammate.

          2. @anon

            Congratulations on that statement. That’s the standard comeback for someone who has nothing better to contribute.

            Button beat Hamilton and Vettel got smashed by Ricciardo. Whats the point of such a daft statement?

          3. I agree that Hamilton and Vettel have tainted legacies.

          4. Schumacher was banned for reasons that had nothing to do with rule infractions, go check the races where he was penalized, as far as I remember he overtook hill during the formation lap at silverstone, then he left him past, eventually got 2nd but had a black flag plus another DSQ for 2 races as a penalty for this, and then something with a technicality which took away his spa win.

        3. “wHaT vaLUEs that HE AdDeD To tHe sPorT?
          1) JEaLOUs Of aLL thE PeOpLE THat beaT hiM fAir and sQuARE liKe VetteL, HamilTON, BUttON, ….
          2) bLaCkMaIl TO bOSsES AnD Send A TEammAtE TO The barRIeRs iN OrDeR To geT a deceNT ReSULt aNd save hIS YeAR.
          3) pUbliC inSUltS TO tHeIr Own TEams EveryDay (FerRari, HONdA).
          4) LacK OF REspeCt foR tHeiR BOsSes (dEnNIS, mATtIAcI….)
          5) PubLiC InsULTs TO ThE SpORT tHat gaVE him tHe GLoRY (2005, 2006) wheRe the lAST YeARs Of gOoD F1 He SaID, aFteR That tHE sPoRt tURNED into a nONseNSE (He DeclArEd tHAt mAnY timES).”

          And three years later, you use the c-word.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. His standing amongst his colleagues has been among the highest of any driver, past or present.

      It had to happen at some point although it’s a pity that he’s probably made the move sooner than he’d really planned for but there’s simply no seats in a competitive car and it’s fairly obvious his current team won’t get there for at least a couple of years.

      I wish him well and would love to see him in a position to fight for a podium at least once more before season end.

  70. I hope this is a Prost not a Button!

    And i will watch every race of Indycar if Alonso joins.

  71. Paddy Lowe – “He has more spare capacity while driving than anyone I have ever worked with”

    Massa –
    “because although Michael was at the top, and an amazing driver, I had an easier time with him, I suffered more with Fernando than I did with Michael.”

    Rob Smedly –
    “the very best driver of his generation”.

    De La Rosa, – “The best driver I have ever seen in my life.”

    Toyota –
    “He settled himself in the team in a way that makes things so easy. The guys know each other already. It’s quite smooth. And he makes things smooth because he is coming with a pure and genuine motivation. It’s remarkably easy so far.”

  72. As an Alonso fan, this was sad news to take.
    But ultimately, I think it’s for the best: he still has the desire and the ability to race competitively and win, so why continue risking what’s left of it in an uncompetitive position? Besides, he’s achieved 2 world titles, 32 wins, 22 poles and 97 podiums (not to mention, probably a hundred million or so Dollars/Euro in the bank!).

    Yes, he could (should) have won more… but the same could be said about so many other champions/drivers/nearly men who competed in the sport.

    I think the the only mistakes Alonso has made in his F1 career were: (a) leaving McLaren-Mercedes at the end of 2007 and (b) failing to remedy that by dismissing Red Bull Racing’s offer to join the outfit for 2008 and beyond; choosing instead to wait for an open seat in a declining post-Schumacher/Todt Ferrari.

    He’s a brilliant racing driver, there’s no doubt about that. His achievements in F1 speak for itself, as his success/competitiveness in other top-tier professional racing series (namely, WEC and IndyCar). If anything, his biggest weaknesses are probably: (a) mistaking “yes men” for being the same as like-minded individuals who share his vision/agenda (surrounding himself with the former instead); and (b) lack of foresight brought about by impatience and the fixation on instant success (e.g. not taking RBR seriously for 2008, and failing to take into consideration Adrian Newey’s impact concerning the regulation changes for 2009).

    Lastly, while I do not doubt that the intensity of his approach does (unfortunately) bring with it some form of conflict; I’m of the opinion that records of his past/recent transgressions have become a convenient excuse for people to use, when they become too lazy to analyze the reasons for his not having a competitive drive (although, not to say that they’re entirely wrong though).

    Let’s not forget, that despite his involvements in Spygate 2007 and (allegedly) Crashgate 2008 Ferrari still paid him a fortune to sign-up with the team (so eager were they, that they willingly dropped Kimi Raikkonen — their last World Champion to date!). From the end of 2007 to 2009, he got offers from Red Bull, Honda/Brawn and Renault. Add to that, there were even reports/rumors that Mercedes tried to poach him sometime in 2012. So if anything, during that period his “bad boy” record was easily overlooked in favor of his driving talent and work ethic. To top it off, he was eventually paid a fortune by Ron Dennis himself to re-join McLaren (Honda)!

    I think the main reason Alonso failed to get a top drive after 2014 was because by then, he was no longer F1’s top guy. By that time, Hamilton had begun to fulfill his full potential and Vettel was primed for his second coming. And behind them, other top-tier talents began to emerge (Verstappen) or develop (Ricciardo and Rosberg). Quite simply, from that period onwards the ROI of signing Fernando had greatly diminished: he was a driver entering the twilight of his career and way too expensive.

    Regardless, I will always have him on my personal list of greatest F1 drivers. If not for his statistics (which is impressive in itself), then for his intensity and ability to win/be competitive behind any race car.

    1. Yeah, me too. I was never a fan for some reason but I still truly believe he is the best race day driver in F1. I have huge respect for you, Fernando, and I will miss you in F1.

  73. Fernando Alonso is expected to test a Honda-powered Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12 early next month to gauge his interest in the 2018 IndyCar package on a road course.

    RACER.com has learned via multiple sources that a number of road course test dates have been held for Alonso this year, and despite going unused, an outing in the days following the September 2 Portland Grand Prix is likely to go forward with the two-time Formula 1 world champion.

    Barber Motorsports Park has been suggested as the venue for Alonso’s outing, which would conform to recent guidelines IndyCar has established for Alonso to test somewhere other than the remaining tracks left on the championship calendar in an effort to prevent any data he might provide from being used to the team’s benefit as Andretti’s Alexander Rossi vies for the title.

  74. Shame for alonso, could’ve had a lot more in his career, I consider him one of the top 10 drivers of all time and the best or joint-best driver of the post schumacher era, he was lucky with the 2 titles he got overall but could’ve had 2010 and 2012 with subpar cars and ofc others had he had competitive cars after.

  75. Adios, maestro!!!

    I am so upset with McLaren for wasting you (and Jenson) these years!!!

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