Hungarian GP: Fernando Alonso hints at future switch away from F1

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Push it! Fernando Alonso manhandles McLaren back to pits in Hungary
Hungarian Grand Prix on the BBC
Venue: Hungaroring Date: Sunday 26 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV. Full details here

Fernando Alonso says Formula 1 is not as challenging as it once was and admits he is tempted by a switch to other categories in the future.

The double world champion says the speed of the cars and the limitations of F1's rules have reduced its appeal.

"I love motorsport, all categories, and F1 is not as exciting as it was in the past - at least to me," Alonso said.

The 33-year-old Spaniard revealed he was unhappy with many aspects of F1, including plans for a 21-race calendar.

Hungarian Grand Prix highlights: Hamilton dominates rivals to claim pole

But he said he was enjoying his work with McLaren-Honda, with whom he has a contract until the end of 2017.

"Right now, there is huge motivation and a fantastic project that I am in with McLaren-Honda," said Alonso, winner of the 2005 and 2006 world titles and 32 grands prix in a career that stretches back to 2001.

"My first go-kart was a McLaren-Honda replica and I am in a real McLaren-Honda, so I am enjoying this process of getting competitive starting from zero.

"But with no testing, with these tyres, with these limitations, with the calendar for example of next year, there is the temptation for other categories, that is true."

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso's McLaren broke down in qualifying for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix

Alonso has long made it clear he does not like the tyres that have been used in F1 since Pirelli became the sole supplier in 2011 and responded to a remit to produce a design that degrades quickly, in order to promote more pit stops.

Many drivers do not like the fact they can rarely push to the limit during races, but Alonso has been the most outspoken about it.

He was also referring to limitations on in-season testing, on the extension of the calendar to a record 21 races next year and to the severe limitations in the rules with regard to the design and operation of the cars.

He also referred to the fact the cars are only "two or three seconds a lap faster" than a car from the GP2 feeder category.

F1 has plans to make the cars five to six seconds a lap faster in 2017 with a raft of rule changes.

Alonso has indicated he approves of these changes, saying in May that they proved F1 had gone in the "wrong direction" in the last few years.

Pirelli is facing opposition from Michelin to be the sport's next tyre supplier from 2017 - a decision is to be made by September by F1's commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone.

F1 rule changes - what do they mean for the future of the sport?
Read Andrew Benson's blog for more details.