Barcelona - Fernando Alonso on Thursday bemoaned his lack of any real home advantage for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix and hinted that he may be considering a future without Formula One next year.
The two-time world champion, who has one win at the Circuit de Catalunya to his name, told reporters that he felt saddened by the current direction of F1 and would not decide his plans for 2019 until after this year’s European summer break in August.
Talking ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, he suggested he was feeling the strain of his efforts to combine racing in different series.
“I'm attempting two world championships at the same time,” he said, referring to F1 and the sports car world endurance championship, which includes the classic Le Mans 24-Hours race.
“I'm happy with the progress we did here at McLaren and the direction things are going - so I'm happy here, but it's quite demanding - especially the F1 calendar.
"The biggest thing here is how predictable everything is. We can put in the paper now what would be the qualifying here on Saturday, what it would be in Monaco, what it would be in Silverstone.
"So that's something you need to take into account for future decisions. This is sad in a way for Formula One, the direction everything went."
Alonso is highly regarded by all of the leading F1 drivers despite it being five years this weekend since he last won a Grand Prix.
Sitting with another Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Renault, he also grinned and complained at the fact that the Barcelona track is used so much for winter testing.
“This year, for example, the track, they put new asphalt last winter so it’s still a challenge for all of us to understand the best set-up and how you get around this new track, he explained.
“The same with the wind direction, the temperature. You know we come here over the winter with very cold temperatures and then in May you need to re-adapt a little bit, so it’s always challenging."
Optimistic about McLaren
Alsono was, however, optimistic about his McLaren team, despite a disappointing start this year, and was keen to talk about his sustained motivation.
“I kept the motivation because I’m a competitive man,” he said. “I love to win. In 2013, we won here. I think the tyres were degrading a lot that year and we make an extra stop and we managed to win the race.
“And not with the quickest car. Nico (Rosberg) was on pole by six tenths or something. That was a good call by the team. In 2014, we had quite a difficult season and then the last three years you know that we struggled a lot.
“It’s the same this year. As I said, I think the start has been not too bad, in terms of results especially and the number of points. My win last weekend in Spa will not change anything. I think it’s two different series and two different worlds.
“It will not change anything for me. Every time that I will have a car that is close to victory, I will go for it. I did some better races in the last five years, even if the last victory was five years ago.
“Here, in the last five years, I did much better races than previously, even if I was not able to win the race.
“And the Baku race is one of the best… I will never probably do a race as I did in Baku and I finished seventh. It’s difficult to see from the outside, but extremely proud and motivated every time you do a one-off performance.”