Max Verstappen wishes he'd had a chance to fight a competitive Fernando Alonso in their time on the grid together.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was Alonso's last Formula One race for the foreseeable future as the Spaniard is pursuing other racing opportunities in 2019. He has never fully committed to retirement and was already talking about a future return during the race weekend, although that would hinge on McLaren returning to the front end of the grid in the near future.
Verstappen made his debut in 2015, the same season Alonso started his farcical stint with McLaren, where he was hampered with uncompetitive and unreliable machinery for four seasons. In that same time period Verstappen has established himself as one of the grid's most exciting young talents, with five career wins already to his name at just 21 years old.
The Dutchman admits he would have liked to race against Alonso properly.
"It's a bit of a shame I never really raced against him," Verstappen said. "Of course he was in F1 when I was there but I never really had a fight with him because he's always been in the back because of the issues that they've had, so that's one thing I might regret.
"I've been racing Seb [Vettel], I've been racing Lewis [Hamilton], and that's been nice. But never with Fernando where I think back in the day when I was watching TV he was always the one really fighting them as well. So of course that I raced with him, but I never fought against him. Which is a shame."
Alonso will compete in several different categories next year. He will complete the World Endurance Championship's 'super-season' with Toyota, which culminates with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. He will also contest the Indy 500 for a second time in a bid to complete motor racing's Triple Crown -- earlier this year he won Le Mans, while he won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2006 and 2007.
The Spaniard has also signed up to contest the Daytona 24 Hours sports car race, which he also did at the beginning of this season.