Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel escort Fernando Alonso in farewell lap

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel escort Fernando Alonso in farewell lap

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel escort Fernando Alonso in farewell lap

In the closing stages of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in his bid to catch Kevin Magnussen, and thereby earn the 1,801th career point his engineer craved (1,9000th to be exact), Fernando Alonso straight-lined the chicane on three successive laps, thereby earning himself three successive 5s time penalties.

Since Alonso's debut, only a handful of drivers have matched the Spaniard's impact, although Verstappen is certainly one, among multi-time champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. And he remained true to his word.

"They are both great champions and I feel very privileged to race with them and it was a great race to be fighting with the Haas drivers [for tenth place] to the very end".

After his bruising season alongside a rookie Hamilton in 2007, which generated serious tensions at McLaren, Alonso moved back to Renault.

He appreciated the gesture from race victor Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and second-placed Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari when, in a special tribute, they gave him space to drive with them in a synchronised display of donut spins during the slow-down lap.

Fernando Alonso was "very impressed" with NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson's performance in a Formula 1 vehicle in their drive swap test in Bahrain.

Alonso, who has now retired from the sport - although has hinted it could be a temporary one - was flanked by race victor Hamilton and runner-up Vettel on the cool-down lap for what he revealed was an improvised celebration.

Fernando might be back in the future, mind, as he hinted at in interviews over the weekend... I think in a couple of days [it will sink in]. "Right now it's just pure fun". I need a break now - in 2019 I need different challenges. "I would like to be invisible until Monday, but I'll have to be here and talk a bit". So we need to accommodate a few things - it is not that I want to go by my own in all the decisions.

"It's going to be quite different to any other vehicle that I drove, but at least we're doing it in Bahrain, which is a circuit that I know, and it's not an oval or something that could be more hard. I will always be a fan of this sport", he added.

Alonso will start his final race from 15th on the grid.

After impressing in his first run in a single-seater auto at the Bahrain International Circuit, Johnson says he would be open to some open-wheel racing in future "without a doubt", specifically highlighting the Rolex 24.

"It's been a pleasure racing with these champions", Alonso told reporters.

"I am definitely excited", Johnson said in Abu Dhabi, according to Auto Week.

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