Fernando Alonso did not win as much in Formula 1 as his talent deserved, according to sporting boss Ross Brawn.

The Spaniard took part in what is expected to be his 312th and final grand prix start at the 2018 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he finished just outside of the points for McLaren.

Alonso is regarded as one of F1’s greatest drivers of all-time, having claimed back-to-back world championship titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006 and won 32 grands prix.

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He was tipped to win many more titles prior to his switch to McLaren in 2007, but a fractious rivalry with Lewis Hamilton resulted in a swift return to Renault, though the partnership failed to replicate past success.

Alonso narrowly missed out on the 2010 and 2012 championship crowns to Sebastian Vettel during his time at Ferrari, before a return to McLaren in 2015 coincided with a disastrous spell with Honda, leaving Alonso languishing in uncompetitive and unreliable machinery in the latter stages of his F1 career.

“I don’t think Fernando won as much as his talent deserved, partly because he’s never seemed to be in the right team at the right time, but he always stood his ground and took on his responsibilities,” Brawn said.

“He will be missed, particularly by his fellow competitors, as all drivers - especially the top ones - know how important it is to go up against a worthy opponent.

“I think this was the thought that resulted in Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel forming a sort of guard of honour for the Spanish champion as they drove down the pit straight after the race and then put on a really spectacular show.

“In the past there were often arguments between Fernando and the other two, but in Abu Dhabi, respect was the prevailing emotion.

“Spinning around in clouds of smoke after the race were drivers who had 13 world titles between them, a notable achievement in the history of this sport and it was a moment that those who witnessed it will remember for a long time.”

While Alonso said he was approaching Abu Dhabi as his last-ever race in F1, he suggested he would be open to returning at some point in the future if an attractive option opened up.

Asked if he could see himself returning to F1, Alonso replied: “Who knows?

“The door is difficult to close 100 percent because you never know what the future will bring, but right now I consider this the last race and the future, we will see.”

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