Fernando Alonso says 'very poor' F1 spectacle prompted decision to quit

Fernando Alonso says his decision to quit Formula One at the end of the current season has nothing to do with McLaren's failure to give him a competitive car since 2015.

Earlier this week Alonso announced he will not be on the F1 grid in 2019, although his statement left the door open for a return if McLaren can re-discover its competitiveness. McLaren has not won a race or scored a podium since Alonso joined in 2015.

Despite his recent struggles Alonso said he was more concerned at the direction F1 has followed in recent years.

"When I was in 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, I was not winning any single race in those years. It was difficult to predict what could happen now in Spa or Monza," Alonso is quoted as saying by Crash.net. "Now we can write down what is going to happen at Spa or Monza.

"We can put the first 15 positions with maybe one or two mistakes. How predictable everything became is tough. We came to Barcelona, we test the first day in winter testing, and you know what you will do until November in Abu Dhabi."

He added that it "is not the case" that he became too frustrated with McLaren's current situation to continue any longer.

"I have other, bigger challenges than those Formula One can offer right now. It's a sport or a series that definitely has some very positive things I've been enjoying for 17 years or 18 years of my life. I think I achieved much more than what I dreamed when I started in 2001, and right now, the action on-track is not the one that I dreamed of when I joined Formula One when I was in different series, or the action on-track that I experienced in other years.

"Most of my announcement went to sadness or a sad moment, or frustration over the last couple of years for the lack of results. I've been racing for 18 years in Formula One, I've won two [titles] -- so arguably, 16 years of my life, I was frustrated. It was not the case, and it's not the case now.

"I stopped because the action on-track in my opinion I feel is very poor. In fact, what we talk about more in Formula 1 is off-track. We talk about polemics, we talk about radio messages, we talk about all these things.

"When we talk so many times about these things, it's a bad sign. It's because the on-track action was very poor that weekend. That's what I feel in Formula One now, and I think there are other series that maybe offer better action, more joy, and I think more happiness."

This weekend Alonso is taking part in the latest World Endurance Championship round, his first since winning the Le Mans 24 Hours with Toyota in June. That victory raised speculation of a return to the Indy 500 -- the final win he needs to complete the Triple Crown -- and rumours of a jump to IndyCar next season are mounting.

The two-time world champion will not rush into deciding his next move.

"I'm thinking. Probably this is bad news, but I will not probably decide or be ready to confirm anything until [in] a couple of months, maybe October or something like that.It's going to be a long wait, and a lot of predictions!

A report in Racer this week said Alonso is set for an IndyCar test on a road course in October. He has previously only raced IndyCar machinery on an oval, doing so when he made his Indy 500 debut with a McLaren-Andretti Autosport entry in 2017.