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Sainz: Alonso's departure should concern F1

NEWS STORY
25/10/2018

Understandably, with only three more races remaining before he turns his back on the sport, drivers were asked at today's press conference their opinion of Fernando Alonso's decision to leave F1 for pastures new.

While most spoke of 'new challenges', countryman Carlos Sainz admitted that Alonso's departure from F1 should serve as a warning to the sport.

"The fact that he's leaving is a big loss for Formula 1," said the Spaniard. "To not have one of the best drivers - or the best driver - in motorsport at the moment on the grid is a big loss.

"It is something for Formula 1 and for everyone to consider," he added, "why one of the best drivers is leaving and why we cannot have a bit more competitive grid, where many drivers can fight for wins or for podiums."

Since returning to McLaren in 2015, Alonso has borne the brunt of the Woking outfit's disastrous partnership with Honda, and while this season has seen the Woking outfit's form marginally improve, the two-time champion is nowhere close to being in a position to challenge for podiums, far less a third title.

An outspoken critic of the direction the sport is heading, unable to secure a drive with one of the 'big three', Alonso is leaving F1, ostensibly to attempt to achieve his dream of emulating Graham Hill in securing the sport's Triple Crown.

While Sainz made clear that the sport will miss Alonso, one of F1's other true characters, Kimi Raikkonen, who last week won the United States Grand Prix at the age of 39, was somewhat down to earth about the Spaniard's decision.

"The fact is, we are all going to stop at some point," he said. "There's always new guys coming, and all of us have to go at some point. That's how it goes."

"Fernando is a winner, he wants to win races," added Max Verstappen said in Mexico. "He didn't see that happening in the near future, and of course he's been trying for a few years, I can understand why he leaves.

"Probably some new adventures for him, probably he can win again, I think that would motivate him very much and we'll see what happens in the future, if he comes back or not."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Mexico City, here.

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