Fernando Alonso’s retirement came as a surprise to many F1 fans, as they felt that the Spaniard would go on for a few more years.
However, Alonso cited that the lack of action on the race track prompted him to move away from F1.
Jenson Button, who replaced Alonso at Monaco last year, as Alonso was racing Indy 500 has said that he is happy that Alonso finally decided to move on from F1.
He also admitted that Alonso would return to F1 if McLaren was to improve in performance.
“I said to him he’s finally made the right decision. He’s woken up and smelled the coffee, as we say,” Button said.
“He’s finally made the right decision. It’s always down to the individual when they choose to leave Formula 1. He’s done the same thing as what I chose to do, leave but leave it open for one year after to go back.
“I think that’s the right option to do. But if the McLaren’s quick and it’s winning races, he’ll be back in Formula 1.” he added.
Button was all praise for Alonso and his exceptional career, one in which he won two world titles.
“Discussing his retirement means nothing, it’s more his career, it’s been exceptional. To win two world championships and be close on a couple of other times, there aren’t many people who get to do that,” Button said.
“We were teammates, so I know exactly the strengths and weaknesses for Fernando. It was really, really enjoyable racing with Fernando and against him as a teammate. My toughest teammate, really enjoyed it though. My late father always respected Fernando, and that’s always a good judge of character. He used to get on very well with my father as well, Fernando.
“It’s really nice to race with him. Tomorrow we start second and third on the grid, which is quite cool. But he’s still going to be racing until he’s 95 years old. He races more than me, he’s at the karting school in Spain all the time, driving, teaching. He’s obviously racing in WEC.
“I think next year he’ll still have a busy schedule. You can’t stop a racing driver racing. I thought I could stop, but I can’t.” he added.
Button conceded that he loved the fact that Alonso was honest about why he was leaving F1.
“I love the way he said though that the racing isn’t as much fun,” Button said.
“It’s like, ‘hang on a sec, you’re racing in WEC and you’ve got one car to compete against!’ You shouldn’t really be making the call on that.
“I know that he loves IndyCar, and I think he was really comparing it to IndyCar, and his experience at the Indy 500.
“If he’s racing for a win, he’s going to enjoy it a lot more, and you do. But when you’ve won multiple world championships like him and you’re fighting in the midfield, it does get boring after a while.
“You want to be at the front, not getting lapped by the leaders.” he added.