Fernando Alonso ended his Formula 1 career in Abu Dhabi last November with “no regrets” over his career moves, believing nine out of 10 drivers would have made the same decision he did and join McLaren for the 2015 season.

Alonso left Ferrari at the end of the 2014 season to re-join McLaren for a second stint eight years after his acrimonious exit from Woking, tasked with leading its charge with new engine partner, Honda.

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However, continual struggles for three years with Honda power limited Alonso to no race finishes higher than fifth, and the team’s switch to Renault engines for 2018 didn’t bring any improved results.

Alonso announced in August he would be quitting F1 for 2019, ending a 17-year stint in the sport that had seen him win two world titles, but defended his decisions to join Ferrari in 2010 and McLaren in 2015 – both projects that held much promise but failed to yield a third world title.

“I think in F1 there is always one winner, and all the others are not winning. I’ve been unlucky in some of the races, but without a crystal ball, it’s difficult to make decisions,” Alonso said.

“After you finish your chapter, it’s easy to say, but when I joined Ferrari in 2010, I think 10 of 10 [drivers] would have gone in that direction.

“When I joined McLaren-Honda in 2015, all 2014, I’d been hearing that it was a very good decision, because the turbo engine from Ferrari was not good. McLaren and Honda had one year of development for free as they were not racing in 2014, and that was a mega decision.

“I’d been hearing good things, and I think nine out of 10 [drivers] would have gone in that direction.”

Alonso said he held no regrets over the big decisions of his F1 career, saying the accolades of many drivers do not reflect their true talent.

“I think I don’t regret many things, I’m happy with the decisions,” Alonso said.

“Only one is happy here, which is Lewis Hamilton this year. To be second, seventh or 12th, it’s the same. I won two championships, 97 podiums and I have mates with a lot of talent, like Nico Hulkenberg, with zero podiums; Sebastian [Vettel], a lot of years now not winning; [Max] Verstappen, zero titles; [Daniel] Ricciardo, great talent, zero titles.

“They are all unlucky probably, but it’s the way of the sport and F1. With all those things coming from the north of Spain, go karting, two times world champion – no regrets on anything.”

While Alonso will no longer be racing in F1 this year, the Spaniard remains part of the McLaren family, and will enter the Indianapolis 500 with the British team in May.

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