Alonso plays down chances of F1 return

Johnson keen to partner Alonso at Rolex 24			Image by Sam Bloxham  LAT

Alonso came close to scoring what would have been his 1,900th point in F1, but went on to finish P11 as he couldn't close the gap to Haas' Kevin Magnussen in the closing laps, despite cutting the chicane on three occasions - for which he was penalised.

"Without a doubt", Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, said, according to Motorsport.

"I think the last years have been very tough for him", Vettel added.

"It's been a real honour and a privilege to race in the same era as him", the Brit continued.

Johnson seemed to enjoy himself in the 2013 MP4-28 McLaren-Mercedes Formula One vehicle, while Alonso took Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet for a spin.

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Stoffel Vandoorne said farewell to Formula One at Sunday's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but McLaren boss Zak Brown would not be surprised to see the Belgian back on a future starting grid.

"It was the end of the race", he responded, when asked whether the stewards had considered black-flagging the Spaniard for his continued misdemeanours, "and I don't think it would have been very nice to give someone like Fernando a black flag in his last race, do you?" I need a break now - in 2019 I need different challenges. But the most memorable moment was saved for the slowdown lap after the grand prix when his McLaren was flanked by Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari before all three stopped on the pit straight to perform donuts. I saw them [Hamilton and Vettel] doing donuts at Turn 8 and then I saw one auto on the left and one vehicle on the right and they kept going like this until the finish line.

Alonso leaves the sport with two titles, 32 race wins and boundless admirers for his talent and individuality spread through 17 seasons of success, bad career decisions and profound disappointment. I had really no time in the weekend.

Vandoorne told reporters in Abu Dhabi it was hard to see how things might pan out but he was not ruling out a comeback either.

Hamilton never lost respect for his old sparring partner and frequently referred to him as the greatest of his rivals.

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