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Fernando Alonso

Why Alonso is now more relaxed in ‘selfish, fake’ F1

Alonso has taken a different view on F1 in recent years

Alonso podium Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Fernando Alonso’s switch to Aston Martin has so far proven to be a worthwhile move and the Spaniard is ensuring he is enjoying the moment rather than becoming focused on the competitive nature of the sport.

Two-time F1 World Champion Alonso has scored six podiums in the opening 12 races of the campaign and currently sits third in the Drivers’ Championship.

The 41-year-old’s decision to dump Alpine for Aston Martin has been hailed over the last handful of months after previous career moves left him in difficult situations.

Such were his struggles last decade that Alonso decided to depart F1 altogether and instead dipped his feet into various other categories such as IndyCar and WEC and the Dakar Rally.

It allowed him to notice different behaviours between disciplines and the specific way that F1 presented itself.

“I saw Formula 1, which is, in motorsport, very different than other categories,” Alonso told the High Performance Podcast.

“[It’s] much more selfish, much more glamorous in a way, but fake in another way. I think it was more pure motorsport [at] Le Mans, IndyCar or Dakar for sure.

“Formula 1 had this appeal, the people wanted to attend the races, wanted to watch on TV,” he said.

“I was also watching the F1 races on TV, I appreciated a little bit more all of the stuff as a driver I didn’t like before.

“The national anthem, the parade lap, having a little bit more access to the media and the cameras. When you are a driver, you hate those moments.

“But when I was just in my living room, I was missing those moments. If one or two drivers were a little bit more smiling or a little bit more accessible, it was appreciated from home.

“So when I came back to the sport, I think I took a step more relaxed into those things.

“I’m taking care a little bit more with fans and TV, and these kinds of things because I understand the importance of it and that was able only because I was out of F1 for two years.”

Alonso ‘regrets’ not enjoying successful years

Alonso won his F1 world titles in 2005 and 2006 and had further success with Ferrari in the early 2010s - albeit without a third championship to his name.

With 32 race victories under his belt, Alonso’s last trip to the top step of the podium came over 10 years ago.

Reflecting on his successful seasons in F1, the Aston Martin driver conceded: “I regret that. When I won the two championships back with Renault, my Ferrari time, it was good but you’re focused on the next race or next weekend.

“You finish one race, you may win the race and you go to the airport. When you are on the plane, you are thinking about next weekend so you land at home, you text your engineer ‘we need to test softer at the rear because the traction was very bad’.

“I think with age and now at this point in my career, the podium of this year, when I watch the race on TV, I seem the happiest on the podium.

“I was third and two times second. It’s because I’m able to enjoy those kind of moments.”

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