A despondent Fernando Alonso admitted Saturday that he is losing interest in Formula One and considering a switch to an alternative racing series.
Just hours after pushing his recalcitrant McLaren-Honda car uphill towards the pits in searing heat during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the 33-year-old Spaniard explained why contemporary F1 is no longer as special for him as it once was.
“It was more fun before, but I don’t think it is because we have more sensors or more information now,” said the former world champion.
“Before, we had some freedom in terms of testing and in terms of improving the car as well.
“You (could then) find your car that is not competitive in the first quarter of the season and then you have some solutions and maybe you end up in a competitive way.
“But now Mercedes will win all the races and Manor will be last in all the races, with more or less sensors or more or less input of driver or team.”
Having suffered with the struggling McLaren-Honda team all season after leaving Ferrari last year, Alonso claimed he retained his enthusiasm for his current project even if on Saturday all his efforts were in vain.
“Right now, there is huge motivation and a fantastic project that I am in right now with McLaren-Honda,” he said.
“My first go-kart was a McLaren-Honda replica and I am in a real McLaren-Honda, so I am enjoying this process of getting competitive starting from zero.
“But with no testing, with these tyres, with these limitations, with the calendar for example next year (provisionally 21 races), there is the temptation of other categories.”
The two-time world champion made his F1 debut in 2001 with Minardi and is now stuck in the middle of his worst season, having scored one point in nine races.
He has not won a race since 2013.
“I love motorsport, all the categories,” added Alonso.
“But it is true that F1 is not exactly the same, or as exciting, as it was in the past — at least to me.”
“Now, we have our hands tied for the season. So, when we take the car to Barcelona, or Jerez, for the first test it is a coin in the air -– and, if it is competitive, you will have a good season.
“And if it is not competitive, you will have a bad season.”
After another in a season of technical failures on Saturday, Alonso qualified 15th on the grid for Sunday’s race.
His attempt to push his car back proved to be futile as the rules did not allow for him to re-join the fray.
“You know, I love my sport. It doesn’t matter if you are last, or if you are 15th, or if you are in pole position. You want to drive the car and you want to enjoy it out there.
“That’s why I pushed it. Then, when I was back in the garage, I was told that with the regulations, it was not possible for me to continue. The car has to return by itself with the engine running.
“I didn’t know that. If I did, I would probably have parked the car before and not pushed.” – Agence France-Presse