Fernando Alonso has revealed that he started to have doubts about his Ferrari future in 2013, but he only made a decision to leave during the 2014 summer break.
Ferrari finally confirmed on Thursday that the two-time World Champion would leave Maranello after five years and he be replaced by Sebastian Vettel.
The paddock knew as far back as October that the Spaniard would leave at the end of the season, but Alonso admits he started having thoughts about leaving Ferrari last year already.
“I felt it was the time to find new projects and new motivation. It was not an easy decision to make. I was in talks even last year, to be honest,” he said.
“We waited for this year, for the new car, the new turbo era etcetera and this year I felt around summer time, September, that it was time to move and I take the decision. Only time will tell if it’s a good one or bad one.”
Alonso is yet to confirm where he will go next, but it is widely believed he will return to McLaren.
He added: “It was not a special moment of the year that I opened the eyes. As I said, last year I had some doubts about 2014. I knew that it was a big change of regulations so I thought that it was the best thing to check how the 2014 new turbo era was going for Ferrari. I had a very close relationship with President Montezemolo, we talked every week, and we more or less agreed that if this year we were not competitive again maybe I could think on other options.
“When I arrived at the summer break and said maybe it’s time to sit with the President and say if it’s for them, it’s okay, I would like to go. I need to thank so much Ferrari because they could say no, but they understood it was best for the two parts. This is again a true sign of respect and love for this team and they showed me also respect on that.”
Official: Alonso To Leave Ferrari