Fernando Alonso has conceded he would regret his departure from Ferrari if either Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen claim the Formula One drivers' championship in 2016.
Alonso, a world champion with Renault in 2005 and 2006, ended a five-year stint with Ferrari to join McLaren for the 2015 season.
However, both the Spaniard and Jenson Button endured hugely frustrating campaigns as the Honda-powered MP4-30 proved woefully uncompetitive.
As McLaren toiled, Ferrari made encouraging progress - Vettel claiming three race wins in a year otherwise dominated by the all-conquering Mercedes team.
Many anticipate Ferrari being closer to Mercedes this year, prompting Alonso to be asked if he would rue having moved on should the Italian manufacturer enjoy success.
"If they win the championship, probably, yes, because I had a contract last year and this year with them," he replied at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
"So if they win the championship this year I probably will feel that I could have had that opportunity as well if I was able to drive as good as the champion if they win.
"That will be the case - but this is a big if."
Alonso is certain McLaren will ultimately find their way back to the top and insists he sees little difference between finishing second or 22nd.
"There is only one driver, and one team that are happy every year. All the others are in the same position," he added.
"Sometimes we tend to forget or differentiate who is arriving third, fifth, seventh is happier than who is arriving 18th and the 22nd [driver] is the unhappiest man in the world. But this is not true - at least in my case.
"To arrive second, fifth, 11th, 21st is exactly the same pain because you are not winning.
"At least last year, this year I feel happy inside because I see the commitment and I see the project that one day will win. If that day will be in the short term, the medium term or long term I don't know, but McLaren-Honda will win one day. We want to make that time as short as possible."