Fernando Alonso says he is driven by the goal to prove he “the best driver in the world” and has no plans to retire any time soon.

The two-time Formula 1 world champion quit the sport at the end of 2018 having grown frustrated following years of disappointment at McLaren during a four-year spell blighted by a disastrous return to Honda engines and uncompetitive machinery. 

Alonso is now focusing on his quest to become just the second driver in history to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of motorsport, which he can seal with victory at the Indianapolis 500 next month. 

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In the last year alone, Alonso has added winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona and 1000 miles of Sebring to his list of achievements. He also currently leads the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship standings alongside teammates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima.

Asked what he is hoping to achieve at this moment of his career, Alonso replied: “To be the best driver in the world, which I think I am. 

"I think everyone thinks we are the best, but it’s difficult to prove because especially in Formula 1, unless you are with the right package that season, you cannot prove it. 

“I’ve been very competitive for many, many years in Formula 1, luckily enough to win championships. Even my last season was probably the strongest with 21-0 [qualifying record] to my teammate [Stoffel Vandoorne], things that I have never done in my career. 

“And now winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning Daytona, winning Sebring, hopefully being competitive in the Indy 500, and some other things that I can do outside maybe the asphalt is something that probably has no precedence in the sport.”

Just four months after bringing his F1 career to a close, Alonso returned to action driving McLaren’s MC34 in this week’s post-Bahrain Grand Prix in-season test, while he also embarked on his maiden Dakar Rally car test towards the end of last month. But the Spaniard said he is not testing a range of cars simply to “have fun”. 

“I’m looking for the challenges,” he explained. “It’s not to have fun. Sometimes I read when I am testing something that we are happy you are having fun, but please come back to Formula 1 - like please come back to the real job, this is fun. 

“I’m not having fun when I try one of those cars, I have no idea, they need to tell me how they do, they do full throttle and brakes at the same time in rally style.

“You need to learn from zero. You need to read the bumps, read things. Definitely there is a lot of effort that I put behind every challenge that I take, and a lot of study behind. 

“I’m not doing it for fun. I’m doing it for the difficulty, for the challenge, and just to hopefully be better as a driver.”

Alonso refused to put an end date on his racing plans but said he will continue for as long as he feels competitive. 

“As long as I have the power to do it and I feel competitive [I will continue]”, he stressed. “Maybe one day I jump in a Formula 1 car and there is one guy with the same car that is quicker than me. 

“Or I jump into another car and one guy is quicker than me with the same car. As far as I know, it never happened so far, so I will keep driving.”

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