Fernando Alonso has spoken openly about his affinity for racing in Formula 1, saying that “nothing else comes close” to the experience of driving a grand prix car.
Alonso has voiced his dissatisfaction with the current era of F1 in recent times, and is expected to make a decision on his long-term future in the sport after sampling the new cars designed under the 2017 regulations that should yield multiple second per lap gains.
Alonso has also expressed an interest in racing at Le Mans and in the Indianapolis 500, but in a feature on McLaren’s website called “Why I Race”, the Spaniard said that nothing compares to F1.
“It’s hard to explain what this feeling is like because nothing else comes close to F1,” Alonso said.
“Your brain has to reset every time you get in the car because things happen so fast. If you haven’t driven an F1 car for a few weeks, the level of performance takes you by surprise.
“I go-karting to enjoy the competition; I drive in F1 for this feeling. The driving styles in karting and F1 are quite similar, but nothing unexpected happens in a go-kart. Your brain is never taken by surprise.
“You can predict everything that the kart is going to do. That isn’t the case in F1, where you’re taken by surprise all the time. When you hit the brakes, your brain takes 0.2s to catch up.
“That’s a very nice feeling; that is the feeling.”
Alonso admitted that he is selfish as a driver in a bid to gain a competitive advantage up against his rivals.
“You need to have no heart,” Alonso said.
“You are not enemies with the other drivers, but you have to focus on yourself to win.
“If you can ‘hurt’ someone by getting an advantage over them, that’s even better.”