Alonso: the future has already begun 08 Nov 2007
As the speculation grows over which team will secure Fernando Alonsos services for 2008, the Spaniard has insisted he feels comfortable looking back on his time with McLaren and says he has learnt some valuable lessons for the future.
Alonso and McLaren announced their parting last week, despite the double world champion having two years left to run on his contract. It followed a tumultuous season in which relations between the two parties grew increasingly fraught - though it didnt stop Alonso winning four Grands Prix and coming within a hairs breadth of taking a third successive drivers crown.
This year I had the opportunity to win the championship again, so from that point of view the switch (from Renault) was a good decision, Alonso told Formula1.com. The team did a fantastic job to have a competitive car so I was able to fight until the last race and finished only one point behind the champion. So in that respect I think it has been a very positive season.
Outside the car for sure we had some ups and downs, better moments and worse moments, but I think this happens in every job. I will remember this year for my four victories I had in important places, where I had not won before, like Monza, and Monaco again for a second time.
Many questioned whether McLarens decision to give their drivers equal treatment and to let them race to the end effectively cost the team the 2007 drivers championship. However, Alonso believes there are numerous reasons he lost the title to Kimi Raikkonen.
In Hungary I had a penalty, in Japan I didnt finish the race after the crash, in Canada I was seventh, in Magny Cours seventh, so for sure I didnt arrive in Brazil with enough points to be sure of winning the championship, he said.
With arguably the toughest season of his Formula One career behind him, Alonso claims his focus is now firmly on next season, though he was giving nothing away as to who his 2008 employer might be.
Hopefully for next year Ive learnt some lessons and Ill try again, he said. For every driver, when we lose a championship we start thinking about why we lost. But we lost, so there is nothing more we can do. Its history. The future is the place where you can change things - and the future already has begun. Looking back over my shoulder I feel quite comfortable.