Fernando Alonso to race his last F1 motorsport race in Abu Dhabi this weekend
Fernando Alonso will enter his 314th and final race in the 2018 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend. The two-time World Champion is not fully ruling out F1 from his career, but rather is taking the time to explore other opportunities such as his WEC duties and possibly return to Indy 500 with McLaren.
“Maybe 2019 is not the right time,” Alonso said.
I will study the calendar and see what is possible, but after leaving F1 I will have more time but I also want to think about having more free time.”
Brave, audacious, and fiercely competitive, @alo_oficial was born to race. With his final grand prix fast approaching, we look back at what drives Fernando: https://t.co/ROpzInPkIM#GraciasFernando pic.twitter.com/GiZvFmbyut
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 14, 2018
Fernando Alonso Stats
Alonso has been very vocal about his opinion with F1 throughout his career, labelling the so-called pinnacle of motorsport as ‘weak’.
“What happens now is not the Formula 1 that made me want to be a racing driver,”
Alonso told Speed Week.
“I quit F1 because I think we’re a weak show. We talk more about what happens next to the track. We talk about polemics and radio messages.
“I could write down the first 15 positions for the result of the next race, perhaps with a few changes of places. I find it hard to accept how predictable it has become.
I suppose I find more pleasure in other racing series.”
The Spaniard is not the fastest in qualifying or in the wet, but he is one of the most adaptable drivers around. In an environment which never stays the same for long, whether the car set-up, track conditions, or tires – Alonso is able to adapt intelligently and effectively. So it is no wonder that now that the F1 is seemingly ‘predictable’ that Alonso is heading out the door.
#7 on our list of Fernando's memorable McLaren moments is the 2016 #AustralianGP. It was a big one, touching wheels with Gutierrez at almost 200mph and subsequently barrel-rolling his car into oblivion, Fernando was indeed fortunate to walk away from this one.#GraciasFernando pic.twitter.com/lm4xhtmxnQ
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 19, 2018
In a rare interview, Stella underlines Alonso’s ability, but also shares surprising insights into a man who he says is very different behind the scenes from his apparently ruthless, hard-headed image.
‘He may look tough, but it’s a presentation’
“First of all,” Stella says, “you have to understand that driving a car is no different from playing the violin, in that you can do it at different levels.
“You can be the best player and do the best concerts, and you can be almost there so most people would not recognise the difference between being the best violin player and being just one step away from that.
“To make this final step, first of all, you need to be humble and think: ‘That’s not enough. I need to improve.’ And second, ‘How do I do that?’
“And while Fernando may look a tough personality, that is more a presentation. It is more when he is part of a competition.
“When he is inside the group of engineers, he becomes very comfortable. He is the first one to say, ‘How can I improve?’
“When he came to Ferrari, he said to me things I could not understand. Like, ‘I am not a good driver in the wet. I am not good in Hockenheim. I am not good (in this and that)…’ And I was like, ‘What? I thought you were better than this.’ He was very open.
“The process of being humble, of acknowledging the gap to perfection, is a strong characteristic of his, which I can understand from outside may not be perceivable. But within the entourage, the team, it is actually quite developed. Through the years, he has worked on these weaker characteristics.”
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday will be a day to go down in history, as F1 will lose one of the greatest drivers ever to race for F1 – Fernando Alonso.