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Fernando Alonso: I could have swapped with Lewis Hamilton for 2015

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Fernando Alonso says a swap deal with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was on the table before he left Ferrari for McLaren.

Alonso joined McLaren last year after five seasons without a championship at Ferrari, only to watch his former team claim three wins in a resurgent campaign while enduring McLaren's worst since 1980. Alonso's future was the subject of intense scrutiny for much of 2014 and at one point he was linked to a drive at world champions Mercedes.

Though Hamilton was retained and last year signed a multi-year deal to stay at Mercedes, Alonso claims one proposal in 2014 would have seen the drivers going in opposite directions ahead of last season.

Asked about the potential swap deal, Alonso told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser: "Yes, that offer was there. The circumstances meant that it came up, but Ferrari didn't want it at that point. They were in talks with me to renew until 2019, but Ferrari's offer did not convince me and I went to McLaren-Honda.

"I don't know if Hamilton knew about it."

Alonso says he turned down a long term deal to stay at Ferrari to make the switch to McLaren, which he insists he does not regret despite his current team's woeful 2015 campaign.

"I had an offer on the table to renew until 2019 and I didn't take it. I don't know if everybody would have done that, but that's me. I make my choices based on my intuition and peace of mind, which I didn't have at Ferrari because it had been exhausting, both physically and mentally, to give everything race after race.

"[Staying] meant finishing my career at Ferrari, probably never winning again. And five years finishing as runner-up had been very stressful, very demanding, mentally and physically.

"We were championship runner-ups but it appeared to be a funeral. When you talked to the people at Ferrari and the fans and the press it was very demanding. Ferrari is there to win and if it doesn't it's a bit of a chaos.

"I enjoyed my time there, but I think I enjoy F1 much more now, even being 10 positions behind them last year, and hopefully closer this year. And I think there was no real option to win with Ferrari. Last year it didn't happen for them, and hopefully this year they'll have a better chance, but I still doubt it and so starting something new is something that I needed in my career."