Alonso has no regrets over Ferrari departure, now plans to retire after McLaren stint

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Fernando Alonso has insisted that he has no regrets over his decision to leave Ferrari at the end of the 2014 season despite his former team re-finding its form at the start of the new year.

Alonso left Ferrari for McLaren after five years at Maranello, making way for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to join the Italian team from Red Bull.

Vettel claimed his first win for Ferrari in just his second start at the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago, whilst Alonso retired after spending most of the race outside of the top ten positions.

This led many to question whether Alonso had made a mistake by parting company with Ferrari before the team’s revival, but the Spaniard explained to reporters in China that he had no regrets.

“I had five fantastic years and we came very close two times to win the championship, so I only have good memories and good feelings,” Alonso said. “But it was enough, and to keep doing lap after lap, and year after year was not motivating me any more.

“It’s challenging, and I’m looking forward to starting a new team with a new project because this makes me happy and makes me full. I was not happy with my mind and my soul any more.”

Alonso also revealed that he plans to retire from F1 following his stint with McLaren, and does not expect to take up another role in the sport.

“I started with McLaren-Honda when I was three years old, a replica [car] from my father,” he said, referring to a white and red go-kart he raced in as a child. “I will finish with McLaren-Honda, but the real one in F1, and that will be one third of my life.

“The normal life will start that day when I retire, and I do not see myself as a manager here or following the sport. That will be enough.”

Alonso has previously confirmed to NBCSN that he plans to take part in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans before he stops racing, suggesting that his career in cars may not end when his F1 one does.