Fernando Alonso says he plans to continue racing in other categories after “two or three more years” in Formula 1.
The Spaniard is currently taking it one season at a time contractually with Alpine, having returned from a two-year sabbatical in which he successfully tried his hand at other motorsport disciplines.
Although 2021 will not go down as the best in the two-time former World Champion’s career, it was certainly encouraging and rewarding as he enjoyed a podium finish at the Qatar Grand Prix.
The plan – or El Plan, as Alonso has adopted as something of a catchphrase – is for Alpine to be more competitive and challenging at the front regularly when the new era of regulations comes into F1 from 2022.
By the middle of this decade, when he will be 42 or 43 years old, Alonso intends to be participating elsewhere – just he like did in the World Endurance Championship, which he won, the Dakar Rally and the Indianapolis 500 during his time away.
Still got it… never lost it 😍
The legend @alo_oficial returned in 2021 and showed that he's still one of the most determined drivers in F1 💪#F1 #ElPlan @AlpineF1Team pic.twitter.com/HWIw80uH6B
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 19, 2021
“I hope to race two or three more years in Formula 1, then move on to other categories because I love driving. It would be very hard for me to be out of a car,” said Alonso on a Spanish TV programme, quoted by his home country’s edition of Motorsport.com.
“I’m happy to be back and looking forward to next season. I was two years out of F1 but in other competitions, with the WEC, I did the Dakar Rally, I have always had a steering wheel in my hands, so I was not standing still.
“Nothing had changed, everything was the same. F1 is such a small world where it’s always the same people, it doesn’t change much.”
On the TV programme, Alonso was in conversation with two other Spanish sports stars – footballer Joaquin, who is also 40, and retired basketball player Fernando Romay.
The discussion turned to age, and the difficulties of competing as a veteran.
“When you’re old enough, it’s hard,” said Alonso. “The first few races [back] I struggled.
“The speed at which things happen, the technical side of F1, because in other categories the cars are much more basic. In F1 you have a lot of electronics, aerodynamics, another language with the team, and that was a bit difficult for me. A thousand people in the team for two cars.
“The experience in F1 is good, you know the circuits, but if they put 10 more HP in the engine it doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter if you are 23 or 40…you have the example of Carlos Sainz senior, who is over 50 and won the Dakar.”
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