Alonso to continue driving for McLaren F1 until 2018

Doug Mendoza
October 21, 2017

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso on Thursday signed a new one-year contract with McLaren in a boost for the struggling Formula One team.

On the other hand, according to BBC, the executive director of McLaren Zak Brown siad, "Fernando 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".

Alonso, who won the title in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, said "it's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren" and that "my heart was telling me to stay". Nevertheless, with McLaren moving to Renault engines next year, the Spanish driver has continued to show commitment to the British team. He rejoined the team ahead of the 2015 season when the Woking squad also revived their previously, highly successful partnership with Honda. During the three years of the alliance, things have not only not improved, but have got worse.

Alonso grew increasingly frustrated — including comments on social media — with the team's underperforming vehicle.

Alonso first started discussing the Indy 500 with Brown after a comment made in jest before Formula One's Australian season-opener in March.

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"It's hard to pick up one moment of that month", he said. "I think this year we have proved that the chassis was capable of fighting at the front".

Speculation had grown that Alonso might leave F1 altogether when he skipped this season's Monaco GP to compete in a one-off race in the Indianapolis 500.

McLaren expect to be much more competitive next season with a switch to Renault engines but Le Mans would still be a possibility because that endurance classic does not clash with any grand prix.

"But I think the whole months was very unique and opened the eyes a little bit of what I said before". "There are no other priorities than Formula One at the moment, but with a door open for different series and different goals". Alonso has done well to get the most out of an ailing vehicle and still has the competitive streak that saw him win 32 races — even though the last of those was in 2013 with Ferrari. "If I had to choose one, it would be Sunday (race day): the drivers' presentation, the drivers' parade 10 minutes before the race".

Alonso will once again be teamed up with Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne in 2018.

Other reports by GizPress

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