The door may be open but Alonso says it feels like 'goodbye'


He may have left the door open for a return to Formula 1 in the future, but for now it definitely feels like a "goodbye" for Fernando Alonso.

The 37-year-old announced last week his departure from Grand Prix racing, claiming to be disenchanted with the sport's predictable on-track action.

Queried by the media at Spa on Thursday about his future and the possibility of returning one day to F1, Alonso opened up about his current frame of mind.

"Right now I’m thinking that it’s a goodbye. But you know, life changes very quickly," said the two-time world champion.

"Life also taught me in the past how things may change, in couple of months' time or in years' time.

"As I said also in the press release when we announced the retirement, [I wanted] to leave the door open because I don’t have the crystal ball to know what’s going to happen in the future.

"As I said, for me it’s a bye-bye, but who knows in the future?"

The McLaren driver reiterated his belief that he was at the top of his game, emphasizing the importance of calling it a day while at his peak.

"I feel strong," Alonso said. "I feel I’m driving at a good level, and I want to say bye-bye to this sport when I feel strong, not when I feel not competitive or I don’t have any place to go or whatever and then you say bye-bye."

Many pundits believe Alonso has chosen to move on to greener pastures because no opportunity of a competitive drive has come his way. Flying in the face of that assumption was Alonso's revelation to Sky Sports F1 on Thursday that he had in fact been offered a drive with a front-running team for 2019, naming Red Bull as the outfit in question.

A rather surprising offer given the Milton Keynes-based team's switch to Honda power next season and Alonso's dismal experience with the Japanese manufacturer. Or perhaps that is precisely the reason why the opportunity was rejected by the McLaren man...

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