Fernando Alonso has described every Formula 1 race since he decided to call it a day on his career a celebration. The Spaniard will walk away from F1 at the end of the season after spending 17 years in the sport, in which he has amassed two world titles.
Alonso has been left frustrated over the last number of years, racing uncompetitive cars and bagging just two podiums in the hybrid era. This year, things looked promising for McLaren who started the season competing high up in the points positions.
However, the team has since slipped away and become backmarkers after implementing little development over the course of the 2018 season. Alonso will look for a new challenge away from F1 next year, and has described the remaining races of the season as "a celebration".
"Every race now, from the moment I decided to stop, is just a celebration," said Alonso. "I can't wait to go to Austin now and see the place again, drive around in the cars.
"Maybe we're not the fastest when you see the times at the end of the session, but every lap feels fantastic. It's not that I don't love F1 anymore, I still love these cars, but if I stop now it's because I'm 37 years old and achieved all my dreams in F1."
The 37-year-old has criticised the current state of Formula 1 as he doesn't believe the gap Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull has over the rest of the field is fair. But he added that he feels he is not alone in his stance, highlighted by a recent social media post.
"You need to make the sport interesting again,” said Alonso. “I posted a video of 2005 and I received 3000 comments of ‘this is the Formula 1 I fell in love with and not the thing you have now’, so it’s not me being critical of this Formula 1, it’s the whole world.
“One of the top six cars can start last in every race and will finish in the top six and lap the seventh with whatever guy you put in those cars. We miss the noise of the V10, the V8, we miss the creativity on the strategy, the different fuel loads, the tyre competition, so you go into Sunday with some unpredictable feeling of what is going to happen.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing