Fernando Alonso and Jimmie Johnson in F1/NASCAR swap

Sebastian Vettel opens up on nightmare F1 season Hamilton rates Verstappen

Sebastian Vettel opens up on nightmare F1 season Hamilton rates Verstappen

In two seasons with McLaren, Vandoorne managed a best result of seventh and was out-qualified by double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso in all 21 races this season.

"And, two or three years ago, in the same place, it was his last race and no-one had all the things that I have received this weekend. I don't think the black flag was ever discussed". "It's been a privilege to race when he is racing", he said on Sunday. "The whole weekend has been unbelievable and the in-lap was not planned".

Hamilton and Vettel escort Alonso to the start finish line for donuts! It was a nice touch by them, so thank you Sebastian and thank you Lewis. "It has been pleasure racing with these champions and I feel privileged", Alonso said.

"I wouldn't be surprised, it wouldn't be the first time a driver struggled a little bit at first and then gelled a little bit later on".

When asked if his departure was finally sinking in, he admitted: "Not yet". I tried everything I could in the last laps - I really enjoyed it. "I raced with Michael (Schumacher, a seven-time champion), I raced with Jenson Button". In this picture, Alonso gestures during his farewell party at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, Nov. 24, 2018. I love to discover new things, to discover new motorsport events and series, so it's going to be a very special day for me.

The season got away from Sebastian Vettel, as Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth title
The season got away from Sebastian Vettel, as Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth title

Speaking before the race, the Spaniard had hinted that he could return to F1, though a couple of hours later he appeared to suggest the opposite.

Asked if he might be back in Formula One as early as 2019 pre-season testing to help McLaren develop its new auto, Alonso added: "I don't know exactly what I will do next year, what the implication or the role will be". I feel very happy and very privileged with all the success that I had over the years, driving for awesome teams.

"Coming from a very normal family from the north of Spain, a go-kart driver, eventually you find yourself in Formula One and winning championships and 17 years of magic in this sport".

"I don't have any clear plan or clear steps to see what I will do in the future", he said.

Mick McCarthy reappointed Republic of Ireland boss until 2020
"I have been involved in club football for the last 15 years, so this will be a new challenge but one that I know well". The Republic will learn their Euro 2020 qualifiers opponents at next Sunday's draw which takes place in Dublin.

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