Fernando Alonso has reflected on his Formula 1 finale as a “magic weekend” as he thanked fellow world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for the improvised donut celebrations after Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The two-time F1 world champion bows out of the sport narrowly missing the points in 11th place for McLaren, just behind Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, to deny him his 1900th career point in the sport.

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But Alonso still celebrated his last race in F1 by doing donuts alongside Vettel and Hamilton at the Yas Marina Circuit before stepping out of his McLaren on the start/finish straight next to the podium finishers.

“That in-lap was improvised actually because it was not planned in advance,” Alonso revealed. “I saw them doing donuts in Turn 8 so I caught up with the leaders and then one of the cars was on the left and one on the right and they went like that all the way to the start finish line.

“I am very thankful to them for the nice gesture and it was nice to celebrate at the chequered flag. I tried my best and was very close to being in the points with two Haas drivers.”

Alonso says it will take time to reflect fully on his momentous last F1 race having had no time to stop and absorb the race weekend’s significance.

“I still need a couple of days to see and digest things,” he said. “There have been a lot of things that were prepared for me with the team, Liberty and Formula 1, but I didn’t have any time to myself.

“Every time I was in the room I could see on my telephone that there were hundreds and hundreds of messages, but every time I sat down in the chair, someone knocked on the door and told me to go out to see another new person.

“So I have had no time yesterday evening and this morning, and I need a bit of time to myself and realise the magic weekend that I had.”

Alonso, who takes part in a special McLaren event in Bahrain on Monday with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, says he’s eager to keep racing in 2019. The Spaniard has already confirmed his return to the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren plus the final three rounds of the World Endurance Championship with Toyota and didn’t rule out a potential F1 return.

“I will keep racing, so don’t think that I will stop racing, I love motorsport and I will drive IndyCar and anything with a steering wheel next year,” he said. “I will see them in the Indy 500, at Le Mans, and then who knows what will come after that.”

Alonso was given a number of special tributes throughout the Abu Dhabi race weekend including artwork inspired by his F1 career which was revealed in the FIA drivers' briefing room and an F1 paddock party on Saturday night.

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