Fernando Alonso says that he has no regrets from his Formula 1 career, despite not having a competitive car for the last five years of his stay.
The Spaniard opted to walk away from the sport at the end of the 2018 season, following a disappointing campaign with McLaren. The Woking squad took on Renault power units after a turbulent relationship with Honda, but it failed to produce strong results.
Alonso will continue to race in different series around the world, and hasn't ruled out a potential return to F1. But despite not winning a race since 2013, the double-world champion says he has no regrets.
"I think I don’t regret many things, I’m happy with the decisions,” Alonso said. “Only one is happy here, which is Lewis Hamilton this year. To be second, seventh or 12th, it’s the same.
"I won two championships, 97 podiums and I have mates with a lot of talent, like Nico Hulkenberg, with zero podiums; Sebastian [Vettel], a lot of years now not winning; [Max] Verstappen, zero titles; [Daniel] Ricciardo, great talent, zero titles.
“They are all unlucky probably, but it’s the way of the sport and F1. With all those things coming from the north of Spain, go-karting, two times world champion – no regrets on anything.”
At the end of 2014, Alonso left Ferrari to join McLaren, who was getting started with its project with Honda. Although it formulated into failure, Alonso says that most other drivers would have done the same thing.
“I think in F1 there is always one winner, and all the others are not winning. I’ve been unlucky in some of the races, but without a crystal ball, it’s difficult to make decisions,” Alonso said. “After you finish your chapter, it’s easy to say.
"But when I joined Ferrari in 2010, I think 10 of 10 [drivers] would have gone in that direction. When I joined McLaren-Honda in 2015, all 2014, I’d been hearing that it was a very good decision, because the turbo engine from Ferrari was not good.
"McLaren and Honda had one year of development for free as they were not racing in 2014, and that was a mega decision. I’d been hearing good things, and I think nine out of 10 [drivers] would have gone in that direction.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing