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Alonso did consider F1 retirement during 2017 season

Written by  Mar 14, 2018

Fernando Alonso has revealed he did consider retiring from Formula 1 after last season before ultimately re-signing with McLaren.

The Spaniard's future was one of the main talking points throughout 2017 as his contract was set to expire and the British team's partnership with Honda continued to fail.

An appearance at the Indianapolis 500 fuelled speculation the double world champion may race elsewhere but, after 15 years on the grid, Alonso admits he didn't want to leave in bad circumstances.

“I felt it was not the right time for me to step out,” he told F1 Racing magazine. “Not right now, not after these results, not with this feeling. I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life.”

McLaren ditching Honda in favour of Renault engines for this season was also crucial and, though pre-season testing hasn't been great, the 36-year-old's confidence remains high.

“McLaren can jump from being ninth [in the constructors' championship] to being close to the top three, in the top five in every race possible, always in Q3 and fighting for a podium when we can,” he claimed.

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What has surprised many so far this year has been Honda's apparent significant improvement, using only one engine in the second test and running flawlessly but for an "anomaly" in the telemetry on the final afternoon.

“I have no problem with Honda,” Alonso told Spanish radio Onda Cero when asked about their performance with new partner Toro Rosso.

“They showed a good winter test and if they finish in the top five I’ll be glad, but I don’t think so. One test is not the same as 21 races with three engines.”

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