Alonso on Ferrari: 'No regrets' over leaving, 'bad news' if Alpine fight them

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Upon his return to Formula 1, Fernando Alonso reiterated he has "no regrets" over leaving Ferrari or any decision he has made during his career.

The double world champion spent five seasons at the Scuderia between 2010-2014, winning 11 races but failing to claim that elusive third F1 title.

A poor final year at the start of the hybrid era then saw Alonso return to McLaren in 2015 as part of their partnership with Honda, but that proved a disaster as a lack of power and reliability left the 39-year-old battling in the midfield.

Still, speaking to Spain's AS in Bahrain, Alonso noted Ferrari's continued wait for a championship as a reason why he was right to seek pastures new.

“We are in 2021 and Ferrari is still not winning," he stated.

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“I never regret any of my decisions. With a crystal ball, you can make a different decision at some point, but at every moment I felt I did the right thing.

“With Alpine, it’s the same,” he added. “I think this way I have the biggest challenges after two years out of the sport. Decisions are made and responsibilities are taken, but with Ferrari the timing was perfect.

“In 2014, there was success for five years and we fought for titles until the last lap in three of the seasons. The atmosphere was incredible and so was the love between Ferrari and myself, but it was the right time. At one point the relationship was damaged and we wanted to have just the love.”

Moving forward to 2021, the Italian team is in a rebuilding phase after its worst championship finish since 1980 last year.

But before Charles Leclerc finished sixth and Carlos Sainz eighth in Bahrain, Alonso did anticipate progress.

“I think Ferrari this year will make a step forward because of their resources and history,” he told Sky Italia.

“I don’t think we will fight with them – if so, it would be bad news for them.

“I think that with Carlos and Leclerc, Ferrari has a strong line-up, so we will see if Ferrari can grow and fight for podiums and victories.

“Excluding the 2020 season, the previous years they have always fought for the Championship until the last races, so I expect them to be strong if not this year, for sure from next year.”