Alonso 'still feels like an F1 driver' and will 'evaluate' a 2021 return

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Fernando Alonso has suggested he favours a return to Formula 1 in 2021 as he evaluates his options.

The double world champion left a race seat at McLaren following the 2018 season to focus on other challenges, including a super-season in WEC, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours twice, a second failed attempt at the Indy 500 and on Friday, finished 13th overall in his first Dakar Rally.

Since leaving F1, however, talk of a return has never been far away and Alonso even revealed interest in him has remained.

“There were two or three situations with a few talks involving certain teams,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “We had contacts, but it was not the right time."

Fernando though is only planning one more race in 2020 before deciding his next move.

“This year I do not want to schedule anything after Indianapolis to think properly for 2021," quoted him as telling Spanish radio.

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"I will evaluate F1 but I could also return to the WEC since the hypercars will arrive or I could do an entire championship in IndyCar.

"I will make my evaluations and the teams will do the same: if there is a common interest I will certainly think about it.

“I’m not too old to return but I want to reflect on whether I want to return to Formula 1 for some more years.”

Alonso, who is now 38, also acknowledges that despite his forays into various motorsport disciplines, F1 still holds great appeal.

“What I miss about Formula 1 is the precision work with the engineers and the optimisation around the races,” he said. “But not the travelling, the consecutive races and only one team dominating.

"Inside I still feel like an F1 driver, it's a championship that I like and in which I know I can give my best.

"F1 is the top of all categories, but it also has its disadvantages: it requires total dedication, and I've already had 18 years of career done that way.

"I have to decide whether I'm really interested in doing another two to three years with that load of work."

All-new cars and regulations for next year are also offering Alonso hope he could potentially make a winning comeback to F1, but doing so at one team does appear out of the question.

"I haven't talked to Ferrari for 2021," he declared. "I think the adventure with Ferrari has been good, but I don't think it's time to talk about a return.

"I think they bet on the future by betting everything with Charles Leclerc.

"For 2021 I will first have to see who will be competitive and perhaps Ferrari will not be among the favorites. We'll see," he concluded.