Fernando Alonso Admits Failed Title Bids at Ferrari Were ‘Adding Pressure’ To Leave F1

Published 04/23/2021, 7:02 AM EDT
SAKHIR, BAHRAIN: Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda watches the action in the pitlane during practice for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


When the stewards handed Raikkonen a 30-second penalty, it promoted Fernando Alonso from 11th to 10th on the grid. Hence he collected his first points finish since his return to the sport with a slice of luck. However, the same cannot be said about his entire F1 career.

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After winning the title in back-to-back years in ’05 and ’06, Alonso endured a couple of heartbreaks at Ferrari. Facing an uphill battle against the faster Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel, he lost out the championship to the German at the final race of the season in 2010 and 2012.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Fernando Alonso immediately after his crash during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. (Photo by Peter J Fox/Getty Images)

Taking the fight right down to the wire and coming so close left him frustrated. Not to forget the pressure that already exists at Ferrari, from the backroom politics to the demanding Tifosi. All of this took a mental toll on him.

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He said, “I’m sure there was some frustration there. We didn’t achieve the championship at Ferrari in five years in red and that was, let’s say, adding pressure.”

Fernando Alonso justifies his decision to leave Ferrari for McLaren

From there on, it went from bad to worse for him. At the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, Ferrari got it horribly wrong and lost their competitiveness. So, without the benefit of hindsight, he returned to McLaren to kick-start their partnership with Honda –

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“And from Ferrari I went to McLaren-Honda, a new project, just because at Ferrari I felt it was not possible to win the championship and beat Mercedes, so I had to try something new. So there was always some pressure, adding pressure every year, to fight for the championship.”

But McLaren-Honda was a nightmare spell for him. His war of words with the Japanese engine suppliers also took a lot out of him. This pushed him to take some time off to recharge his batteries.

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Fernando Alonso poses for a picture with the Renault R25 before driving a lap Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon

“In 2018 it was a little bit of a ‘that’s enough for now’ and I needed a break, I needed to breathe outside of this bubble of Formula 1 and out of this continuous chase for a Formula 1 title,” said Alonso.

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But now, he’s here with renewed will and energy to compete again for an elusive third world title. With the 2022 regulation change, we hope that Alpine finally provide him with a car that can match his talent and ambition.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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