In an emotional night dedicated to Fernando Alonso in Yas Marina, Alonso paid tribute to his own 17-year career in F1. He says whatever he does, he will also be known as a Formula 1 driver and explained his love for the sport.
Ahead of his final Grand Prix later this afternoon, the F1 community gathered to say goodbye to the Spaniard. Many people featured in a video giving tributes and thanking Alonso for the memories. Afterwards, he spoke to the crowd.
"Even if I will try and I will drive different series, and I will try to race around the world, I think my life will always be with Formula 1. I will also be a Formula 1 driver or an ex-Formula 1 driver," Alonso said.
The two-time World Champion went on to express his love for the sport.
"My driving style, my philosophy on driving, my skills to drive a racing car will always be behind a Formula 1. I love this sport. I fell in love at a very early age, looking at my icons and my idols.
"I’m happy that I will be around, maybe not driving the car but I will always be a Formula 1 fan."
Asked how he would like to be remembered, Alonso forgot about 32 wins, 22 poles, 97 podiums and his two world titles. He wants to be remembered for his passion and character behind the cockpit and in the training centre.
"As a fighter, as a guy that never gives up. I’ve been driving very good cars, I’ve been driving slower cars but with the same motivation, the same ambition and the same love for racing," he said.
"I race every week of my life. Sometimes it’s here in this paddock, some other weekends it’s on a go-kart track, some others in sports cars, if not in the video games. I’m a full-time race driver. That’s probably the way I hope people will think about me in the future."