Thuesday, 13 march 2018, 06:56 , by Martin Macdonald
Fernando Alonso has admitted that he considered quitting Formula One altogether in 2017 in order to pursue his dream of winning the motorsport 'triple crown' as he was involved in yet another season without success with McLaren, who once again suffered engine problems.
The Spaniard is a two-time world champion and is considered one of the greatest ever drivers in F1, but these championship wins came over a decade ago, with his recent years with McLaren not even mustering up as much as a race win.
He has not hid his desire to win the triple crown which includes wins at the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans, and has now admitted that he thought about quitting F1 to achieve the feat.
"Yes, I did think about the possibility of changing series and stopping Formula 1," Alonso told F1 Racing.
"After I did the Indy 500 last year, when I came back there were a couple of races in Austria, Silverstone, when I thought, 'Maybe next year I could try a different series; I could do full commitment to the triple crown and do Indy and Le Mans and maybe that's the best thing'.
"But I felt it was not the time for me to step out - not right now, not after these results, not with this feeling. I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life and that I would have this bad taste for the rest of my racing career.
"So definitely I still want to succeed. There is unfinished business for me and McLaren together.
"And I think this year is the time all these things will change. I feel pretty sure about that."
McLaren are the second-most successful team in the history of F1, but finished ninth last season - something which Alonso insists must not happen again this campaign.
"A bad year for McLaren is third or fourth in the constructors' championship, never ninth."
When asked if this season would be a return to normality for McLaren, Alonso said: "Yes - back to normality, back to this normal feeling of getting to every grand prix and preparing through practice and qualifying and knowing that you should be in the top five - and if you do well you could be on the podium.
"And if you do something really special, you could even be a winner."