Max Verstappen admits one of the things he regrets about Fernando Alonso’s retirement from Formula 1 is not having many chances to race the double world champion.
Alonso will not race in F1 in 2019, having said he wants to pursue interests in other categories as well as try and win the Indianapolis 500 — the last piece of the Triple Crown after his successes at Monaco and Le Mans. Since Verstappen arrived in F1, Alonso has tended to be hampered by uncompetitive machinery and the Red Bull driver concedes he would have liked the chance to really fight with the Spaniard on track.
“It’s a bit of a shame I never really raced against him,” Verstappen said. “Of course he was in F1 when I was there but I never really had a fight with him because he’s always been in the back because of the issues that they’ve had, so that’s one thing I might regret.
“I’ve been racing Seb (Vettel), I’ve been racing Lewis (Hamilton), and that’s been nice. But never with Fernando where I think back in the day when I was watching TV he was always the one really fighting them as well. Of course I raced with him, but I never fought against him. Which is a shame.”
While regretting the lack of opportunity to go wheel to wheel with Alonso, Verstappen is proud of his 2018 season as a whole, having recovered from a tough start to the year to finish strongly, picking up a win and two podiums in the final three races.
“It was very positive. Out of the first six races there were five that were not that great, but the other 15 were really good in general. So I’m very happy about that and hopefully we can keep that momentum going with the car for next year. Hopefully we will build a good car again, and of course with the new partnership with Honda — which is very exciting — we can take that extra step forward.”