37-year-old leaves McLaren ‘to explore new adventures’
• Alonso remains fully committed to rest of F1 season
Fernando Alonso will leave McLaren and “move on” from Formula 1 at the end of the season “after 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport” and has promised to finish the championship with “more commitment and passion than ever”.
The 37-year-old former world champion said: It’s time for me to make a change. 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. 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.
“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 is expected to make a switch to the Indy Car series.
McLaren, said in a statement on their website: “McLaren confirms that double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso will not race in Formula 1 in 2019.
“Fernando, who turned 37 in July, is competing in his 17th F1 season, his fifth with McLaren, and has amassed 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 97 podiums to date. Beyond his two titles – in 2005 he became the then-youngest world champion in F1 history at the age of 24 – Fernando has been championship runner-up three times.”
Alonso was champion in 2005 and 2006 while he was with Renault, with his first championship ending a five-year dominance by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.
He joined McLaren in 2007 before returning to Renault in 2008. He made the switch to Ferrari two years later and stayed with them for four years, before rejoining McLaren again.
Zak Brown, McLaren’s chief executive officer, said: “Fernando is not only an outstanding ambassador for McLaren but also for F1. His 17 years in the sport, as arguably the pre-eminent driver of his generation and undoubtedly an F1 great, have added another layer to Formula 1’s rich history.”
This article was originally sourced from here.