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Alonso to retire as McLaren-Honda driver

Alonso to retire as McLaren-Honda driver
Fernando Alonso has admitted he will regret his move to McLaren-Honda if Ferrari wins the 2015 title.

After five years at Maranello, the Spaniard revealed on Thursday he eventually lost his “trust” in Ferrari.

Alonso is now at the back of the grid with an uncompetitive McLaren, while his successor in red, Sebastian Vettel, won the Malaysian grand prix.

So far, Alonso – like everyone wearing grey – is remaining remarkably upbeat.

“When you are far behind you can get easily lost,” he admitted in China. “But we are not!”

After Australia, Alonso said Mercedes’ continuing dominance means he has no regrets about leaving Ferrari — even if the Italian team is much more competitive in 2015.

But how does he feel after Vettel’s Sepang breakthrough?

“Ferrari win the race and I was out in Q3 — the perfect time to ask!” Alonso laughed.

“If they (Ferrari) win the championship, well, then I’d probably have a different opinion. If they finish second or third, then I am happy with my decision,” he said.

“We (Ferrari) had good starts — I remember we won in China in 2013. But I want to win also in November, and we never did.”

Alonso, now 33, also said that as a double world champion and arguably the best driver in F1, his priorities have changed after a decade and a half on the grid.

“Obviously I like to win because we are sportsmen,” he said. “But also, with my age and in the moment of my career, you start to look for other things.

“Now, sometimes I feel more happy and more proud of my job and my team doing the things we are doing now than winning a trophy.

“It’s like last year with Ferrari,” said Alonso. “I didn’t win, but I drove better than ever, as you could see in the comparison with Kimi.”

According to Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo, Alonso is a McLaren driver for the long haul now, revealing he will retire from the sport “at the end of my time” with the British team.

“After 15, 16 or 17 years in F1 I will have had enough and will probably do what I did with Ferrari — close a chapter in my life.

“As a boy my father gave me a replica of the McLaren-Honda to drive. Now I’m in the real McLaren-Honda, so a circle will close at the end of my career.” (GMM)

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