Fernando Alonso says he will not quit Formula One until he gets the results he feels he deserves.
The outlook for Alonso's 2017 season looks bleak after a series of Honda engine issues during pre-season testing have left his McLaren car well off the pace of its rivals. The two-time world champion admitted the situation had been frustrating, but said it would not tempt him to walk away from the sport.
"I'm always going anticlockwise, so when the people go pessimistic, I go optimistic and when the people get overexcited, I get worried," he said. "I feel confident that this year we will be competitive. I don't know at which point this year, but we will be competitive and I want to win races and I want to be on the podium. If everything goes in the wrong direction, I will attack next year.
"It brings me more motivation to continue and win because I will not stop racing without a good feeling and a good result that I think I deserve. If one day I am in the car and I see other drivers in the corners do fantastic lines, they brake later than me, they accelerate earlier than me and do better starts than me, on that day I will stop and say 'it's time'.
"What I am seeing now is really the opposite, more than ever this year and this winter. What I see on the track and what I see in myself is at the best level, so now it's time to attack."
Alonso previously said he would base a decision on his future on how the new generation of cars feel to drive, and not necessarily the competitiveness of his car. So far he said he had been impressed by the added downforce and wider tyres of F1's new regulations.
"I get a positive feeling from the new rules, in general. We can attack the corners, we can feel there's a lot more grip, so that was a nice and positive surprise. Now we can drive flat out, the way we like, not like little kids to keep the tyres alive, to prevent strange things from happening, etc. That's the best way to feel a Formula One car, so it's fun to be free to attack and all that is missing is going down the straights at the same speed as the others.
"I think the car is good. From the analysis we can do compared to the other cars, around the corners we don't lose time in almost all corners, but we're 30/40 km/h down in every single straight. Adding up all the time lost on the straights, you get the gap we have to the faster cars."