Fernando Alonso admits he would have regrets about leaving Ferrari if the Italian team is goes on to win the title this season.
One of the biggest questions going into this weekend's Australian Grand Prix is whether Ferrari can challenge Mercedes for the title this year after it showed improved performance in pre-season testing. Alonso's Ferrari contract was cut short at the end of 2014 when he left for McLaren and he has since been at the back of the grid as the team has struggled for performance with its new Honda power unit.
Asked if he would regret leaving Ferrari if they go on to win the title this year, Alonso said: "If they win the championship, probably yes because I had a contract last year and this year with them, so if they win the championship this year, I probably will feel that I could have had that opportunity as well if I was able to drive as good as the champion if they win. So that will be the case, but this is a big if."
But Alonso has no doubts McLaren-Honda will be back at the front of the grid at some point.
"You know, I am aware of the difficulties that we had last year, and I am aware of the difficulties that we may face this year in terms of performance. While you are not winning you can never be happy. And that is only one driver and one team that are happy each year. All the others are in the same position. Sometimes we tend to forget, or we tend to differentiate who is arriving third, fifth, seventh, is happier than who is arriving 12th who is happier than who is arriving 18th, and the 22nd is the unhappiest man in the world. This is not true, at least in my case. To arrive, second, fifth, eleventh, 21st, it is exactly the same pain. Because you are not winning.
"At least last year, this year, I feel happy inside because I see the commitment and I see the project that one day will win. If that day will be in the short term or medium term or long term, I don't know. But this partnership McLaren Honda will win one day. We want to make that time as short as possible and it is what we are working for, and I understand from the fan's point of view from the outside it could be easier to fight for fifth or fourth than to fight for Q1 positions. It seems quite sad but from the inside it is the same frustrations or even sometimes even more frustrations if you arrive fourth all the time."