Fernando Alonso counts the failure to win a championship with Ferrari as his biggest regret in Formula 1, but sees a Dakar Rally success as a high priority alongside a third title.

Already a two-time world champion when he joined Ferrari in 2010, Alonso came agonizingly close to winning the title with the Scuderia at the first attempt, losing out in a championship decider in Abu Dhabi to Sebastian Vettel. Two years later and the same was true in Brazil, and Alonso believes life would have been different had one of those chances been converted.

“I would probably say if you go back in time and change things, winning a championship with Ferrari would probably be the first thing I would choose,” Alonso told the High Performance Podcast. “2010 and 2012 we were within a few laps of winning a championship and that probably could have changed a little bit the outcome of many things and the history behind a few things. That was disappointing, for sure, to miss those.

“Because it’s difficult to change and you never know and you depend on many other people and other teams as well and performance of the cars, it’s difficult to regret something because it’s out of your hands. What I regret for sure was not to enjoy my time and my career more.

“I know I’m at the end of it and there’s a new life in a few years’ time for me without driving, and when I look back on my career I will see a lot of good things and good friendships and incredible experiences, but I should have enjoyed it more.

“If I had the opportunity to live my exact life once more, maybe I wouldn’t change anything about my teams or my choices or this Ferrari title or whatever, I would just change living a little bit more in all those moments and try to have more memories from those moments.

“I won the championship in Brazil in 2005 and 2006 and I hardly remember anything from those afternoons and nights, which is sad. So these are the kind of things I would change.”

Alonso says the two years he had away from F1 in 2019 and 2020 helped him appreciate more aspects of racing in the category, and to that end he doesn’t count a third title as his ultimate goal but hints he has multiple including a future Dakar success.

“I would love to win the championship once again but it’s not the highest priority. I am enjoying the process, especially now with Aston Martin, to become a contender for the future. I’m loving the time with the team how we are all growing up in many different areas.

“I am 99% sure I will try the Dakar again, and it’s not that the third world title is less of a priority – it is a priority – but winning Dakar one day is a high priority for me as well.

“I will maybe have to attempt that race eight, ten years until maybe one day I get lucky and fight for the win. But if I win in Formula 1, endurance racing and Dakar, that will feel for me something special as a driver and as a person. So those kind of challenges are in my head at the moment.”