Fernando Alonso says he wouldn't remain in F1 if he felt that he wasn't at his best or if his Aston Martin team didn't have a chance of bridging the gap with the sport's front-runners.
Despite a productive 2022 campaign with Alpine, albeit one marked by too many reliability issues on his side of the garage, Alonso opted to switch his allegiance to Aston Martin.
It was a surprise move for the two-tome world champion given Aston under-performance last season.
But at 41, Alonso heads into his 20th season in F1 with his motivation and skills intact, but perhaps more importantly with the belief that he will be able at some point to challenge for race wins with Team Silverstone.
In any case, had he been convinced of the opposite and of his inability to remain competitive, he would have likely called it a day on his career in F1.
"No, I think I will not accept that and I will not continue if I don't believe that we can have a chance," Alonso said at the end of last year, quoted by Motorsport.com.
"I don't know if it's one percent chance or 10 percent, but I will only continue because I believe that we will have a chance.
"Next year to close the gap that Aston Martin has I think it's unrealistic, but we need to put the foundation we need, to put the baseline to future cars and to work better than the people around us.
"This is a very competitive environment, so to become a champion you need to deliver something special. I'm ready to deliver something special from my side and I expect the same from the team."
Alonso signed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin, and the two-time F1 world champion will likely give it his all in the next two years. Beyond 2024 however, the Spaniard vows to take it one season at a time.
"I think I would take it year by year," he said.
"I don't know, [in 2021] I was maybe not 100%. If I do a few seasons like that, even if I perform from the outside okay but I don't feel happy with myself, then maybe I stop.
"And  for example, I feel very proud. I will continue whatever the results are next year, because I know what I can give to the team. So, I don't know, two to three years for sure."
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