Fernando Alonso stays in Formula 1, commits to another season with McLaren
Fernando Alonso has finally confirmed he will remain at McLaren for the 2018 season prior to the United States Grand Prix. This decision has ended all speculations involving his future at McLaren and even in Formula 1.
There was a possibility that the Spaniard may leave Formula 1 at the end of the season for a full season at IndyCar next year. He had skipped the Monaco Grand Prix this year to race at the event.
After another dismal year for McLaren with Alonso retiring from 10 of the 15 races this season, the team finally decided to divorce from engine supplier Honda. McLaren will be powered by Renault next year as they look to challenge the top teams again.
Following the announcement, this is what the double-world champion had to say, “It’s fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren, it was always where my heart was telling me to stay, and I really feel at home here. This is a fantastic team, full of incredible people, with a warmth and friendliness that I’ve never experienced elsewhere in Formula 1. I’m incredibly happy to be racing here.
“Just as important, McLaren has the technical resource and financial strength to be able to very quickly win races and world championships in F1. Although the last few years have not been easy, we have never forgotten how to win, and I believe we can achieve that again soon."
The last few years McLaren has continuously been praised for having a very strong chassis, but they have been unable to rediscover success from before the hybrid era with the Honda engine struggling to get on top of the current generation of hybrid F1 power units.
“The last three years have given us the momentum to plan and build for the future, and I’m looking forward to that journey," he added.
‘’I’m excited for our future together – and I’m already working hard to make it a success.‘’
Following the announcement, McLaren’s Racing Director, Eric Boullier, also had a say: “With Fernando, you really can’t ask for a better driver to deliver a result for you on a Sunday afternoon – and I think everybody in Formula 1 would acknowledge that sentiment.
“He’s always been clear to me that this is a team he loves, and that his heart has always been set on staying. Today’s announcement shows that he’s fully committed to racing and winning as a McLaren driver, and, while we’ve often shared his frustrations over the past few years, we now feel that we can deliver on our promise to give him a competitive car next season.
“Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum, and, with Fernando and Stoffel, we’re lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1.”
Alonso claims he has committed to a ‘long-term partnership’ with McLaren, which means that next year will be Alonso’s fourth successive year with McLaren, with possibly more years to come. His contract allows him to race in other races outside of F1, allowing him to chase his dream of the triple crown.
Alonso will be hoping Renault can provide a competitive engine next year, as he hopes to turn his fortunes around and win his first race since 2013 Barcelona, and his first championship since 2006.