7 August 2016
Alonso: I was right to leave Ferrari
Fernando Alonso: Now it is not a relief that they are not winning or having more problems, I don't wish any problems on Ferrari because it is a team that I will always have in my heart. But in terms of driving, how competitive [I am] or my third world championship hopes, then you [need to] drive for Mercedes or McLaren-Honda. That is my opinion
Fernando Alonso reiterates he thinks he was right to leave Ferrari when he did, but adds he takes no pleasure from the Maranello team's current difficulties.
Alonso moved back to McLaren last season, and while the Scuderia seemed to be making progress at the start of the year, the fact remains the squad has yet to win in 2016, and in recent races Red Bull has moved ahead and become Mercedes' principal threat.
Indeed after a lacklustre German Grand Prix, Ferrari dropped behind Red Bull to third in the Constructors' Championship and with the recent loss of highly rated technical director, James Allison, times are challenging for the Scuderia.
“I was right. I was right because I felt I was right,” Alonso replied, when asked if he looks at Ferrari now and thinks 'Thank goodness I got out when I did and I was right'.
“In 2014 I made the decision and had two years more on my contract, but felt I was right to go. Whatever results they achieve in 2015 and 2016 or in the future, for me my time there was fantastic and I wanted to finish on that fantastic feeling.
“Every year was a little bit more stress because you are not winning and it seems that it is your fault. Now it is not a relief that they are not winning or having more problems, I don't wish any problems on Ferrari because it is a team that I will always have in my heart. But in terms of driving, how competitive [I am] or my third world championship hopes, then you [need to] drive for Mercedes or McLaren-Honda. That is my opinion and the feeling from that decision.”
Pressed on if the Scuderia will struggle to stay second, he added: “I don't know. It's a question more for them.”
As for the future, Alonso revealed that no decision has yet been made about extending his current three-year contract beyond the end of 2017.
“We will see [how long I stay]. I don't have a crystal ball, but I am happy and the biggest thing is next year's car, how they feel, how exciting the car is to drive, how much tyres we need to save, how much fuel we need to save and how much enjoyment I get from driving next year's car. After that we will decide,” he concluded.
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