Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is signing off from Formula 1 this weekend at Yas Marina.
Fernando Alonso heads to Abu Dhabi this weekend for the final time as an F1 driver. He announced earlier this year that he will not be continuing in the sport in 2019, although didn’t formally announce a complete severance of ties as he suggested a return could be possible in the future.
However, his preview comments ahead of the race this weekend certainly don’t suggest that Alonso is thinking about a comeback. After four consecutive years of uncompetitive results with McLaren, for which the Spaniard is blameless, he says it’s time for him to go:
“Abu Dhabi will certainly be very emotional race for me, as it will be the end of a long and happy 17 years in Formula 1. The time has come for me to move on, but I’m looking forward to ending the season – and my F1 career – on a positive note.”
2005 & 2006 F1 World Chmpion Alonso will race in IndyCar’s Indianapolis 500 in 2019, meaning that he will continue to maintain a relationship with McLaren for the foreseeable future, while also racing with Toyota in the World Endurance Championship.
“I’m also pleased that my relationship with McLaren will continue with the Indy 500, and there will be more new challenges together. There are very exciting things ahead, and I’m enthusiastic for what the future will bring. For now, I’m not ruling anything out. “
“I’m fully focused on this weekend in Abu Dhabi, and making the most of every day – in the car, with the team, and with my friends and family. Abu Dhabi is a tough circuit, but we don’t have anything to lose, so both Stoffel and I will be fighting hard as always.”
Alonso’s seat is being taken by compatriot Carlos Sainz, who is going into this weekend for the final time as a Renault driver. Alonso’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne also departs McLaren, and Formula 1, after Abu Dhabi, as he has signed a deal to race with HWA in Formula E. McLaren Sporting Director Gil De Ferran says that it’s a weekend of change:
“The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will certainly be a significant end of the season for everyone at McLaren, as we bid farewell to Fernando and Stoffel in their final grands prix for the team. They have been incredible team-mates and ambassadors for McLaren and for the sport, as well as great guys to work with.”