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- Updated: March 13, 2018
McLaren star driver Fernando Alonso was on the verge of quitting Formula One altogether after contesting last year’s Indy 500.
McLaren gave Alonso the thumbs up to compete in the famous oval race after it became clear that Honda had failed to deliver a competitive or reliable engine for the 2017 Formula One season.
The Spaniard has spoken in the past about his desire to win motorsport’s unofficial triple crown, which includes the Monaco Grand Prix (an event he has won twice) as well as the Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours.
He started off pretty confidently at the Indy 500, but 21 laps into the race, an engine failure forced him out.
The two-time world champion has claimed that he found it hard to return to the F1 paddock after his adventure at Indianapolis.
“Yes, I did think about the possibility of changing series and stopping Formula 1,” he said in an interview.
“After I did the Indy 500 last year, when I came back there were a couple of races in Austria, Silverstone, when I thought, ‘Maybe next year I could try a different series; I could do full commitment to the triple crown and do Indy and Le Mans and maybe that’s the best thing’.”
Many McLaren fans as well as the team’s hierarchy were fearful that Alonso would quit on the eve of the season, which was recently revealed on the Amazon documentry series ‘Grand Prix Driver’.
However, Alonso said that the leading reason for him to stick it out was the fact that he didn’t want his career to end on such a negative note.
“But I felt it was not the time for me to step out — not right now, not after these results, not with this feeling. I knew I would regret it for the rest of my life and that I would have this bad taste for the rest of my racing career.
“So definitely I still want to succeed. There is unfinished business for me and McLaren together. And I think this year is the time all these things will change. I feel pretty sure about that.”