Fernando Alonso says that the biggest disappointment of his F1 career was not winning the world championship with Ferrari.
Speaking on the latest episode of the High Performance Podcast, when asked what the biggest disappointment of his career that he uses to motivate himself after more than 20 years in the sport, Alonso pointed to his time at Maranello.
“If you go back in time, you’d change things,” Alonso admitted. “Winning a championship with Ferrari, that will be probably the first thing that I choose if I can go back in time.
“In 2010, 2012 we were within a few laps to winning a championship and that probably could have changed a little bit the outcome of many things and the history of a few things. I was disappointed for sure to miss those. But this is difficult to change and you depend on many other people and other teams as well and performance of the cars and things, it is difficult to regret something because this is out of your hands.”
While Alonso says he has no regrets over his stint at Ferrari, he does regret not taking more time to enjoy racing and his successes during the earlier years of his career.
“I know that I’m at the end of it and there is a new life in a few years time for me without driving,” he said. “When I will look back at my career, I will see a lot of good things and good friendships and incredible experiences.
“But it’s like I should have enjoyed more and if I had the opportunity to live my exact life once more, maybe I don’t change anything on my teams or my choices or this Ferrari maybe title or whatever, I will just change to live a little bit more all those moments and try to have more memories from those moments. I won the championship in Brazil 2005 and 2006 and I hardly remember anything from those afternoons and nights – which is sad, you know. So these are the kind of things that I will change.”
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Alonso says he was constantly looking ahead to the next race during his first stint in the sport. After returning to F1 from a two-year retirement in 2021, he says he is finding more joy in racing in Formula 1.
“When I won the two championships back in Renault, my Ferrari time, it was good but you are so focused on the next race, on the next weekend. You finish one race, you may win the race and you go to the airport and when you are in the plane, you’re thinking about next weekend. So you land at home and you text your engineer, ‘you know, we need to test software at the rear because the traction was very bad in this race at the end of the race,’ these kind of things.
“I think with age and now at this point of my career, it is like the podiums of this year – it seems that when I re-watch the race on TV, I seem the happiest in the podium and I was third and two times second. But it’s because I’m able to enjoy more those kind of moments and celebrating every weekend is part of my thing now.”
Alonso turned 42-years-old over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, and is the oldest active F1 driver. The Aston Martin driver currently sits third in the drivers’ championship at the summer break and says that his age is not a detriment to his on-track performance.
“I think when you are 20 you see life in a way and when you are 40, you see it in a completely different way,” Alonso explained.
“Unfortunately, life, when you have the experience of 40-years-old, you will love to have 20 because you have your body ready for the knowledge that you have at 40. But in motorsport, I think at the age of 40 and the knowledge that you have at 40 it’s not a big disadvantage not to have the body of 20 because we’re still driving cars and it’s more a mental thing and create automatism on your hands, steering wheel, all these kind of things. So I think at the moment I feel good because my sport is good at the age of 40 and that knowledge and it’s still delivering. If I was a footballer or a tennis player or whatever, that will be more painful.”
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