Fernando Alonso says he is treating each grand prix he contests as a “celebration” before his exit from Formula 1 at the end of the 2018 season.

The two-time world champion will quit the sport at the end of the current campaign following McLaren’s ongoing struggles throughout the V6 hybrid era but insists he is still enjoying racing, despite the team’s current lack of competitiveness.

When asked if he couldn’t wait for his tenure in F1 to come to an end given McLaren’s recent struggles, Alonso replied: “No it’s the opposite, the opposite.

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“It’s a fantastic feeling. Every race now from the moment I decided to stop it’s just a celebration. I can’t wait to go to Austin now and see again the place, drive around these cars.

“Maybe we’re not the fastest when you see the times at the end of the session but every lap feels fantastic.”

Alonso stressed he still has love for F1 and reiterated the reason he is quitting is simply to look for other challenges.

“It’s not that I don’t love Formula 1 anymore, I still love F1, I still love these cars,” he added.

“If I stop now it’s because I am 37 years old and I achieve all my dreams in Formula 1, or more than what I dream of and now I have other dreams.

“It’s like when you do something in your life, you already did that, you try to find different challenges. I was extremely lucky here and I will try to find something else.”

Despite anticipating another tricky weekend at Suzuka, Alonso reckons there is still an opportunity for McLaren to score points, especially with wet weather forecasted.

“It could be a little bit better because the high-speed section should be OK for us but at the same time it’s quite high on the power sensitivity ranking so I guess it’s going to be a little bit more difficult than Singapore,” he said.

“We will see some of the strong engines perform quite well here. It’s true also the weather is not very stable at the moment so maybe that could help us as well. I think there’s an opportunity this weekend to score points and we will try to benefit from that.”



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