Alonso stays at Mclaren

Alonso stays at Mclaren

Fernando Alonso

McLaren announced that Fernando Alonso has extended his relationship with the team.

He will contest the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship alongside Belgium’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

Fernando Alonso said:

“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 three years have given us the momentum to plan and build for the future. And I’m looking forward to that journey.

“I’m excited for our future together – and I’m already working hard to make it a success.”

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group, said:

“I’m delighted to be able to confirm that Fernando will remain at McLaren. He has been a fantastic asset to the whole organisation for the past three years, is an incredible individual and is one of the most accomplished and talented racing drivers of the modern era.

“It always made sense for us to continue our journey together.

“His commitment will allow us to further improve the attractiveness and potential of the wider Group. And it will ensure we head into 2018 feeling increasingly confident that we’ll be able to take a meaningful step forward. Fernando fully understands and buys into the direction we are taking.

“Our shareholders have ambitious plans for the whole Group. Success in Formula 1 is a central pillar of that strategy. With Fernando, there is no doubt that we have a driver who can help us achieve our goal of winning again in F1. And, believe me, we are all keen to do that.”

Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director, said:

“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 on staying.”

“Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum. 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 was at McLaren in 2007 but left the team after a difficult year and too many scandals. He returned to Woking for the 2015 season after prematurely discontinuing his Ferrari contract.

The last years though were especially difficult because of the unreliability of the Honda power unit. Alonso did not hide his frustrations with it. He even called it “a GP2 engine”. This year McLaren signed an agreement with Renault for power units for the next three years.

The Spaniard wanted to know more of the power unit the team will use before deciding his future. There were suggestions he also wanted to take part in races outside of F1, as he did with Indianapolis 500 this year.