A disenfranchised Fernando Alonso has revealed that his unhappiness with modern Formula One is so great that other categories have become more appealing to him.
Alonso is enduring arguably the worst season of his 14-year F1 career with McLaren Honda after abandoning Ferrari at the end of last season after being delivered a string of uncompetitive cars.
The McLaren Honda project, which has attempted to invoke the myth of the pair’s previous partnership in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has only struggled in 2015 with an inconsistent chassis and a woefully unreliable and underpowered power unit, and Alonso has retired from five of the eight races he has entered.
“I want to be out there and I want to race,” he said after being knocked out of qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix with yet another power unit problem.
“I love motorsport, all the categories, [but] it’s true that Formula One is not exactly the same or exciting as it was in the past, at least to me — to drive cars that are two or three seconds faster than a GP2 car.
“With no testing, with these tyres, with these limitations, with the calendar, for example, of next year, there is temptation from other categories.”
The loss of Alonso to a competing series before winning his third title — long regarded by the Spaniard as a milestone that would represent a successful career — would be an enormous vote of no confidence for Formula One from a driver generally considered as the most talented of his generation.
Alonso is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2017, and despite this high-profile highlighting of the sport’s already disquieted ranks, he is considered low risk to bail before his term with the team comes to the end.
In any case, as was one of the primary motivators for his defection from Ferrari to McLaren, the idea of rebuilding the McLaren Honda partnership that played such a significant part in his growing up with the sport remains a driving force for the Spaniard.
“For me right now there’s a huge motivation for the fantastic project for McLaren Honda,” he said.
“My first go kart was a McLaren Honda replica, and now I’m in a real McLaren Honda. I’m enjoying this process of getting competitive and starting from zero.
“This shows how much I love my sport. It doesn’t matter if you’re last, if you’re fifteenth, or if you’re in pole position, you want to drive the car and you want to enjoy it out there.”