'We always respected each other' - Alonso denies not liking Vettel
Fernando Alonso says it is not true that he doesn't like Sebastian Vettel.
In Hungary, amid rumours the retired double world champion might return to Formula 1, Ferrari's Vettel said of Alonso: "I don't think he ever really liked me."
Alonso denies that.
"I heard that but it's not true at all," he is quoted by Spanish media as saying during an online chat with fans. "I feel bad that he thinks like that.
"We always respected each other and had a very pleasant relationship. Perhaps it was because of the press, the situation, but I repeat that it's the opposite," Alonso added.
However, it is believed that Alonso's famously mercurial personality could be why there has been little interest among the top teams in offering him a way back into Formula 1.
"It's always the opposite message that people who worked with me gave, but maybe I didn't sell that message well," Alonso acknowledged.
"I give everything for any team I drive for, every lap, every day. The best proof is that I drove for Renault and came back to them; I drove for McLaren and came back to them."
At any rate, Alonso says he will be content if he retires without a third world championship.
"All the dreams I had in F1 I had the immense luck to fulfil," said the 38-year-old. "Actually it was even more than I dreamed."
Alonso says his new goal is to demonstrate that he's also the best in categories outside of F1. He revealed that his unannounced next challenge will "force me to devote myself to it for several months".
"If it was easy, it would not be fun," he said, amid speculation it could be the Dakar off-road rally.
Still, that hasn't stopped the chatter about a potential F1 comeback.
"I've been a little surprised by how many people have talked about it recently," Alonso said.
"I had the best first half of the season possible. I won a world championship, Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans. If one day I want to come back, you will know it."