Max Verstappen says he regrets his lack of fights with Fernando Alonso following the two-time Formula 1 world champion’s exit from the sport.
Alonso took part in his final planned F1 race at the 2018 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before he switches his attentions to attempting to achieve his goal of winning the final leg he needs to complete the Triple Crown of motorsport.
Verstappen entered F1 in 2015 and while he has gone on to battle the likes of multiple world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel on his way to recording five grands prix wins at the age of 21, the Dutchman has rarely engaged in an on-track battle with Alonso.
The Red Bull driver’s rapid rise to F1 coincided with Alonso’s switch to join the failed McLaren-Honda project, which left the Spaniard stuck in uncompetitive machinery for four years before deciding to call time on his 17-year-career.
“It's a bit of a shame I never really raced against him," Verstappen said.
“Of course he was in F1 while I was there, but I never really had a fight with him because he's always been at the back because of the issues they had.
“That's one thing I regret. I've been racing against Seb, Lewis already, and that's been nice.
“But never with Fernando, who back in the day when I was watching TV he was always the one really fighting them as well.
“So, it's nice that I raced with him, but I never got to fight against him, which is a shame.”
Alonso received a guard of honour ahead of his final race with McLaren and went on to finish just outside of the points in 11th, before carrying out celebratory donuts in a “magical” send-off with Hamilton and Vettel.