ABU DHABI -- Fernando Alonso is not closing the door on a possible return to Formula One after 2019, although he admits coming back to the series would feel like a last resort.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Alonso's last before he quits, a decision he made official during F1's summer break earlier this year. Alonso has been critical of the current state of the championship and insisted that his motivation for leaving is to pursue other challenges -- next year, he will contest his second Indy 500 and complete the World Endurance Championship 'super-season' with Toyota.
When he made the announcement the two-time world champion said there was always the possibility of returning, especially if current team McLaren revives its fortunes, but he only foresees that happening in extreme circumstances.
"Right now it's difficult to think about coming back but the door is not closed," Alonso said. "The first reason is I don't know how I will feel next year. I've been doing this for my whole life. Maybe next year, by April or May, I am desperate, on the sofa, so you know, maybe I find a way to somehow come back. But it's not the initial idea.
"It's more about myself. If I come back it's not for any particularly or the line or something that has to happen, it's more how I feel in the middle of next year."
McLaren is marking Alonso's final race with a one-off paint job incorporating blue, red and yellow, a mix of the flags of his home region Asturias and nation Spain. Alonso has carried some form of that pattern on his helmet for the majority of his career, which started in 2001 with Minardi.