Fernando Alonso has said that he felt he was “losing time” being in F1 before his sabbatical, with the demanding nature of the series preventing him from pursuing other racing ventures.
Alonso, two-time F1 world champion, left F1 at the end of 2018 to pursue other racing endeavors. Between 2017 and 2020, the Spaniard won the World Endurance Championship, took part in the Indy 500 three times, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice, took out the 2019 Daytona 24, and came 13th in the 2020 Dakar Rally.
This year he re-joined Alpine, which was formerly Renault, the team he won his two titles with. The agreement has yet to bear fruit, though buds are growing, as Alonso sits 11th in the title with 13 points, only four less than his 2017 season total. His comeback so far has been highlighted with a brilliant drive in Baku, where he finished sixth.
In a recent interview, Alonso revealed he felt he was losing time being in F1, as the demanding calendar required too much commitment for him to be able to pursue other ventures.
“I think the two years out of the sport was needed for me after 18 seasons in Formula 1 non-stop, with full dedication. It was too demanding at one point.” Alonso said.
“I had in my head other challenges with Le Mans, with Daytona, with the World Endurance Championship possibility, etc, I had to do those in a way and tick those boxes to be happy, and to be free to come back and enjoy.”
“I thought that I was losing time in F1, some of the last seasons before ’18. So once those challenges were completed, now I’m freer in a way to enjoy every weekend here.”
Alonso will hope to add to his 13-point tally in France, where a late issue caused him to DNF in 2018, after qualifying 16th.