McLaren & Fernando Alonso have confirmed he will leave F1 at the end of 2018.
Fernando Alonso has announced his intention to leave Formula 1 at the end of this current season. Now in his fourth consecutive season with McLaren since rejoining the team at the end of 2014, the 2005 & 2006 World Champion has not enjoyed success. Three years with Honda power proved disastrous for McLaren and, while there has been slight improvement in terms of points this year, the MCL33 has proven to be only marginally more competitive than last year’s car. With his patience wearing thin, Alonso has decided to move aside.
In a statement, the veteran Spanish racer and two time F1 World Champion said:
“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on. I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.
“There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.
“Let’s see what the future brings; new exciting challenges are around the corner. I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.”
Alonso has not ruled out a possible return to the team further down the line, provided that they find increased competitiveness:
“I want to thank everyone at McLaren. My heart is with the team forever. I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy. I have built so many great relationships with many fantastic people at McLaren, and they have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and race in other categories. I feel I am a more complete driver now than ever.
Dear F1 ….. pic.twitter.com/G9ZzdMwgMn
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) August 14, 2018
“I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. Nevertheless, I would like to sincerely thank Chase Carey and Liberty Media for the efforts made to change my mind and everyone who has contacted me during this time.
“Finally, I would also like to thank my former teams, team-mates, competitors, colleagues, partners, journalists and everyone I have worked with in my F1 career. And, especially, my fans all over the world. I am quite sure our paths will cross again in the future.”
After 17 years in the sport, there has been a lot of speculation that he has his eyes firmly set on winning the so-called ‘Triple Crown’ of Motorsport. Having won the Monaco Grand Prix and WEC’s Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this year, just the Indy 500 stands between him and being the first contemporary racing driver to achieve it. So far, there is no official announcement of a swap to the Indy series.
More to follow..