Fernando Alonso hints at interest in possible F1 return
Could the two-time world champion return in 2021 for F1's new era?
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 06/09/19 5:17pm
Fernando Alonso has given his strongest hint yet that he is interested in returning to Formula 1 - potentially for the sport's rules overhaul in 2021.
Alonso is back in the paddock at the Italian GP this weekend in his ongoing role as an ambassador for McLaren, who he last drove for in F1 before stepping away from a race seat at the end of last season.
The Spaniard has since competed in various other motorsport categories, winning the World Endurance Championship in June and making a second attempt at the Indy 500. He is now testing in preparation for a possible debut at the Dakar Rally in January.
But the speculation about a racing return to F1 is never far away from the 38-year-old former world champion.
And asked by Sky Sports F1's Rachel Brookes if his plan was to return to the world championship one day, Alonso replied: "Maybe."
Pressed on whether he would want to return next year, Alonso added: "Let's see. I need to figure out a couple of different challenges out of Formula 1 that I need to complete. They are not yet finished, like the Indy 500 and some other stuff.
"2021 with the new regulations, I think it's a good mix that we can find there and maybe a different Formula 1 than what we see now.
"The reasons why I left Formula 1 last year are still present now with domination on a clear team and the races a little bit too predictable, but 2021 these things can be changed and maybe it's a good opportunity there."
Asked if he was talking to any teams, a smiling Alonso replied: "Always."
The 2005 and 2006 world champion is considered one of the most talented F1 drivers of all time, although it remains difficult to see where Alonso could return in future.
The Spaniard also admitted the move to a 22-race calendar from next season would be something to consider.
"22 races is non-stop, it's quite demanding. Let's see - I'm getting old!" added Alonso, who will be aged 39 by the start of 2021.