Fernando Alonso hit back at Johnny Hebert live on air after the Sky Sports pundit claimed the McLaren driver should retire from Formula One effective immediately.
Alonso, 34, will sit out of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix after failing to receive medical clearance following a terrifying crash at the season-opening race in Australia a fortnight ago which left him with fractured ribs.
According to Herbert, who won three F1 races in 165 career starts between 1989 and 2000, two-time world champion Alonso is in a decline and should considering quitting the sport.
However, Alonso did not appreciate the comments from Herbert and confronted the 51-year-old in the paddock ahead of FP3 on Saturday.
The Spaniard said: "I'm not going to retire. I'm a world champion.
"You ended up as a commentator because you weren't champion."
Alonso had been left angered when Herbert said via Sky Sports: "He seems to be out of motivation and all these elements add to the performances you don't expect of a two-time world champion.
"We don't see that passion from him to want to drive and push himself to the limit when he is in an F1 car. That is another part of his armour that seems to be lacking at the minute."
Stoffel Vandoorne, who is filling in for Alonso in Bahrain, qualified in 12th place for Sunday's race, two spots ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.