Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso of Spain believes he still has the ability and ambition to win third world title if his current team McLaren can produce a truly competitive race car.
Alonso, who won two titles with Renault F1, has not topped a race in almost three years.
“I feel always confident about beating anyone,” Alonso told F1 broadcasters Sky. “I don’t believe that I’m better than anyone on pure speed in qualifying. I don’t believe that I’m better than anyone [in]wet conditions, dry conditions, qualifying, race.”
“But if you put me in the same car, in the same moment, in the same track with anyone, I think I will beat them. Maybe I am not the best in all the sections, but I will beat them,” he added.
Since moving from Ferrari to McLaren for the start of the 2015 season, Alonso has scored just 11 points. However, his current team McLaren appears much improved this year, and the Spaniard had looked set to make the final phase of qualifying last time out in China before an ill-timed red flag stoppage.
“Now that the car has the potential to be competitive and to be even in Q3 [third qualifying session], when you have that shot and you miss it because of a red flag, you are massively frustrated because you don’t know when that opportunity will come again,” he admitted.
Despite his recent lack of silverware, Alonso also dismissed suggestions that his victory – and even title – tally might have been higher had he made different decisions throughout his F1 career, and said he “definitely” had another drivers’ championship in him.
“No regrets,” he insisted. “I never regret anything that I do. You learn with things, you grow up with things, and in the moment that I made all the choices I thought in the moment that it was the right one.”
“So once you are clear with yourself and happy with yourself in that moment, to see things later is always pointless, you know there is nothing you can do. I’m happy with everything,” he added.
Alonso took his two drivers’ championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006, winning a total of 17 grands prix during his two stints with the French squad. He won a four further times during his ill-fated 2007 season for McLaren, before securing another 11 victories with Ferrari.