F1 digest: Fernando Alonso considered quitting after McLaren-Honda ‘turmoil’
Valtteri Bottas says ‘it’s possible’ to beat Lewis Hamilton and the German GP’s future is in doubt
Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso has admitted that he considered quitting the sport last year.
The McLaren driver said that he decided against ending his F1 career because he did not want to go out on a low note, Sky Sports reports, after the team’s “turmoil” with former engine providers Honda.
In an interview with F1 Racing magazine, Alonso said: “I did think about the possibility of changing series and stopping Formula 1. 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’.
“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.”
Bottas: I can beat Hamilton
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will go into the 2018 season concentrating on his own performance and not that of team-mate and world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking to Planet F1, the Finn said “it’s possible” to beat Hamilton, but it will take a lot of hard work. Bottas says he will follow the example set by former Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who beat Hamilton to the F1 title in 2016.
“I’m not going to go into a complete mental fight within the team. Instead of that I’m going to focus on my own performance on the track,” said Bottas.
“I will be quick in practice, qualifying and in the races, focusing my energy on that. For sure Nico worked very hard, he took three years to beat Lewis, but he beat him by working hard. I believe it’s possible.”
German Grand Prix future in doubt
On 22 July the German Grand Prix returns to the F1 calendar after missing out in 2017, but according the circuit’s bosses no deal is in place beyond 2018.
Hockenheim’s CEO Georg Seiler told German publication MotorsportMagazin.com that the “contract is over in 2018” and no serious discussions have yet taken place.
Seiler said: “It is well known that there are going to be talks about what the future will look like in the foreseeable future, but no serious discussions have taken place yet.
“In the next few months negotiations must be properly carried out. Unfortunately, I cannot say yet whether things will continue in a positive way. I can only say that we strive to continue to keep Formula 1 in Germany. But there are many factors involved.
“With us it remains that we do not want to take economic risks and will not do so. We do our best, but we cannot guarantee anything.”
2018 F1 Grand Prix schedule
- 25 March: Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne
- 8 April: Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir
- 15 April: Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai
- 29 April: Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Baku
- 13 May: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona
- 27 May: Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco
- 10 June: Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal
- 24 June: French Grand Prix, Le Castellet
- 1 July: Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg
- 8 July: British Grand Prix, Silverstone
- 22 July: German Grand Prix, Hockenheim
- 29 July: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest
- 26 August: Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps
- 2 September: Italian Grand Prix, Monza
- 16 September: Singapore Grand Prix, Marina Bay
- 30 September: Russian Grand Prix, Sochi
- 7 October: Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka
- 21 October: United States Grand Prix, Austin
- 28 October: Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City
- 11 November: Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo
- 25 November: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina