Fernando Alonso has admitted that F1 has cost him in ways he didn't expect in his everyday life, though at the same time he argues that he has never known what having a "normal life" feels like.
The Spaniard first entered the sport in 2001, and will now enter into his 19th full season since making a comeback with Alpine in 2021.
Whilst he is aware that his job has affected personal relationships and other aspects of his life away from racing, Alonso struggles to specifically state which areas have most been impacted.
When asked whether Formula 1 has cost him in ways he would not have anticipated when he made his debut, Alonso told the Beyond The Grid podcast: "I would say yes, but [I'm] not clear on if I go in detail [on] what I missed or what it cost in my normal life.
"I will not be able to say exactly what I missed or what I lost. For sure, when you are in the paddock when you are 19, and now I'm 40, I'm sure I lost a few things in life, and obviously you are away from your family for most of your life and friends [too], and maybe you lose some of them."
Arriving in F1 with a dream
However, Alonso acknowledges that himself and others in his position are willing to make sacrifices when they are pursuing the dream of racing in Formula 1.
He also believes that F1 drivers do not have a prior reference of what a "normal life" feels like, given that most have been focused on their careers from a young age.
"When you enter here [in F1], you are just living a dream that you started when you were a go-kart driver, and you aim to become a Formula 1 driver," Alonso explained.
"Then you arrive here, and you are ready to sacrifice whatever comes with that dream.
"But, because we didn't have a normal life, [because] even from 10 years old or 12 years old, we've been racing internationally in go-karts, etc., we don't know exactly what it means to have a normal life.
"So [there is] a mismatch."
Break from F1 did not bring a "normal life|
Alonso does not think that his two years away from Formula 1 in 2019 and 2020 enabled him to have more of a "normal" life, either, given that he was preoccupied with competing in other racing categories.
"I tell you, those two years, they were so intense," the two-time World Champion said.
"I was changing cars every weekend. I was driving for Toyota in the World Endurance Championship, but the following week I was in Doha with the Dakar car, surfing the dunes, learning how to drive in [the] sun.
"And then the following week, I was in Indianapolis with the oval racing, and this was a very, very intense two years [of] switching cars and always having a steering wheel in my hands.
"So again, I didn't have a normal life, let's call it."
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