'A feeling I can't get anywhere else' - Alonso

© WRI2

Despite trying times at McLaren and a winless streak which goes all the way back to Spain 2013, Fernando Alonso still gets a kick out of driving a racing car.

The 35-year-old is undoubtedly one of the most competitive men at the pinnacle of racing, but beating his opponents doesn't quite generate the same buzz as the sheer pleasure of mastering a 900bhp beast and the mind-blowing experience it entails.

"I am a competitive person and competition is important in F1, but I don’t race in F1 for the competition," Alonso explained in an interview published on the official McLaren website.

" I can get that in other areas of my life, like cycling and playing tennis – or racing my mother to the supermarket. The reason I race in F1 is because the cars give me a feeling that I can’t get anywhere else. It’s unique."

The double-world champion tries to convey his feelings and the steep 'rush' he gets behind the wheel of a Grand Prix thoroughbred, as well as the difference between the competition and driving.

"It’s hard to explain what this feeling is like because nothing else comes close to F1. Your brain has to re-set every time you get in the car because things happen so fast.

"If you haven’t driven an F1 car for a few weeks, the level of performance takes you by surprise.

"I go karting to enjoy the competition; I drive in F1 for this feeling. The driving styles in karting and F1 are quite similar, but nothing unexpected happens in a go-kart.

"Your brain is never taken by surprise. You can predict everything that the kart is going to do. That isn’t the case in F1, where you’re taken by surprise all the time.

"When you hit the brakes, your brain takes 0.2s to catch up. That’s a very nice feeling; that is the feeling."

As he basks in his fiercely competitive environment, Alonso also believes selfishness is a Grand Prix driver's most precious ally.

"You need to have no heart," he says.

"You are not enemies with the other drivers, but you have to focus on yourself to win. If you can ‘hurt’ someone by getting an advantage over them, that’s even better."

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