Fernando Alonso says he should have left the Ferrari Formula 1 team earlier, admitting things were getting "more sad" at the Italian squad.
Alonso parted company with the Maranello team at the end of last year after five seasons to rejoin McLaren for its new Honda-powered era.
The Spaniard fought for the title twice with Ferrari, before things started to get worse, finishing with a distant sixth place in the standings last year.
Alonso, who once admitted he wanted to retire at Ferrari, reckons his stint lasted for longer than it should have.
"Probably, yes," Alonso told CNN when asked if he should have left Ferrari sooner.
"The car was not competitive at all and things were getting more and more sad.
"So probably one or two years less was the best thing, but you know we tried to do our best and we fought until the end of every single race.
"After five years in Ferrari, being second all the time, I think it was enough for me."
Not always easy
The two-time world champion suggested there were difficult times during his stay at the legendary team.
"With Ferrari sometimes you win or you lose depending on what the mood of the team in general, of the group in general," Alonso added.
"It's a very big team, with some good things, some bad things, and as I said it's good to experience and to live once being in Ferrari."
He accepts his return to McLaren was a risky move, but he insists it was needed given the current domination by Mercedes.
"I didn't want to give up and I wanted always to keep believing that it was possible and to keep the dream alive," he said.
"Last year I realised that with the Mercedes domination it was not possible to win for Ferrari in the short term and a new project was the best idea.
"McLaren was a risky project because they were completely new, but we are one team - we win and we lose together."
Alonso has finished in the points just twice this year as McLaren has struggled both with pace and reliability.