Alonso concedes winning an F1 title with Scuderia Ferrari is what he would change from his career

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Fernando Alonso shocked the world of Formula One this time last year with his switch to yet another team, this time to Aston Martin. It would have been widely off the mark and an ultimate level of optimism to think that Alonso would lie in P3 of the Drivers Championship by the summer break, albeit only 1 point clear of old rival Lewis Hamilton.

With 6 podium finishes to his name including excellent runner up spots in Monaco and Canada, at one point a big upgrade from Aston Martin along with some more of that high adrenaline optimism, could Alonso have challenged Max Verstappen this season? The feeling around Aston Martin was certainly so, however recent upgrades from rival teams and an AMR23 that has seemingly gone backwards in performance has left the Silverstone-based team with some work to do.

However the mature Fernando Alonso has not let this phase him. He has praised his team, given encouragement to improve the car and spoke about his never giving up mentality. Alonso’s maturity has also allowed him to enjoy this success this year, celebrate the podiums and really absorb the good times.

Speaking on the High Performance Podcast, 42-year-old Alonso spoke about this and how his one real regret is from his earlier years when he didn’t really enjoy and embrace the highly successful times he had.

“I know that I’m at the end of it and there is a new life in a few years time for me without driving,” he said.

“When I will look back at my career, I will see a lot of good things and good friendships and incredible experiences. But it’s like I should have enjoyed more and if I had the opportunity to live my exact life once more, maybe I don’t change anything on my teams or my choices or (winning) a Ferrari title or whatever, I will just change to live a little bit more all those moments and try to have more memories from those moments. I won the championship in Brazil 2005 and 2006 and I hardly remember anything from those afternoons and nights – which is sad, you know. So these are the kind of things that I will change.”

Alonso spoke about his relentless drive for winning and in particular during his younger days where he always focused on the next race instead of taking the time to enjoy his achievements.

“When I won the two championships back in Renault, my Ferrari time, it was good but you are so focused on the next race, on the next weekend. You finish one race, you may win the race and you go to the airport and when you are in the plane, you’re thinking about next weekend. So you land at home and you text your engineer, ‘you know, we need to test software at the rear because the traction was very bad in this race at the end of the race,’ these kind of things.

“I think with age and now at this point of my career, it is like the podiums of this year – it seems that when I re-watch the race on TV, I seem the happiest in the podium and I was third and two times second. But it’s because I’m able to enjoy more those kind of moments and celebrating every weekend is part of my thing now.”

Touching on his comment about not winning with Ferrari, the Spaniard laments that this is one area of disappointment he must admit. Alonso raced for the Scuderia for 5 years from 2010 to 2014 and finished as runner up in 3 of those seasons, Particular disappointment came in 2010 and 2012. Alonso finished a mere 4 points and 3 points respectively behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso says if he could go back in time it would be to win the allusive championship in Ferrari red.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

“If you go back in time, you’d change things,” said the Spaniard. “Winning a championship with Ferrari, that will be probably the first thing that I choose if I can go back in time.

“In 2010, 2012 we were within a few laps to winning a championship and that probably could have changed a little bit the outcome of many things and the history of a few things. I was disappointed for sure to miss those. But this is difficult to change and you depend on many other people and other teams as well and performance of the cars and things, it is difficult to regret something because this is out of your hands.”

Alonso is now the oldest active F1 driver but says age is not a factor in his performances, as proven this season. He admits life experience at his current age would have helped when he was younger.

“I think when you are 20 you see life in a way and when you are 40, you see it in a completely different way,” Alonso explained.

“Unfortunately, life, when you have the experience of 40-year-old, you will love to have 20 because you have your body ready for the knowledge that you have at 40. But in motorsport, I think at the age of 40 and the knowledge that you have at 40 it’s not a big disadvantage not to have the body of 20 because we’re still driving cars and it’s more a mental thing and create automatism on your hands, steering wheel, all these kind of things. So I think at the moment I feel good because my sport is good at the age of 40 and that knowledge and it’s still delivering. If I was a footballer or a tennis player or whatever, that will be more painful.”