Fernando Alonso says that claims he has been lacking motivation in the past couple of years could not be further from the truth.
The Spaniard has endured a tough period since the end of 2014, finding himself as a mere 'also ran' in Formula 1 since switching his allegiance to an uncompetitive McLaren-Honda outfit in 2015 while watching his former team Ferrari ramp up its performance.
In Bahrain, Sky Sports F1 pundit Johnny Herbert publicly questioned the two-time world champion's motivation and drive, suggesting he should call it a day and retire from the sport with immediate effect.
Herbert's comments floated to Alonso's ears and the Spaniard confronted the former British driver on air, saying telling him in no uncertain terms that "you were never world champion which is why you are a commentator".
"The truth is I don’t know how on earth people can think I’m not motivated," Alonso explained in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS.
"In 2012 I fought for the championship until the last moment. In 2013 I finished second, in 2014 I scored triple the amount of points of Kimi Raikkonen, and in 2015 I was pushing the car in Hungary to reach the pitlane.
"So you can say I’m slow, I’m old, I’m ugly, but you can't say I’m not motivated. It makes no sense."
Alonso also pointed to his willingness to race after his massive crash in Melbourne, and which sidelined the McLaren driver in Bahrain, as a token of his motivation.
"I had a pneumothorax, two broken ribs and I was asking the FIA to let me drive the car. And this guy says I'm not motivated? It’s absurd ."