Bringing an end to a host of speculations, McLaren announced that Fernando Alonso will continue to be a part of the Woking-based outfit for the 2018 Formula One season, ahead of the US GP this weekend. The two-time world champion's future at McLaren had been under scrutiny for the most part of the year after a highly frustrating campaign this year over engine and reliability concerns. Nevertheless, with McLaren moving to Renault engines next year, the Spanish driver has continued to show commitment to the British team. Alonso will be racing alongside Stoffel Vandoorne next year, who was confirmed as part of the team last month.
Speaking on his deal with McLaren, 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.
He further added, "Just as important, McLaren has the technical resource and financial strength to be able to very quickly win races and world championships in F1."
It will be Fernando Alonso's fourth consecutive year at McLaren and the new deal is said to be a multi-year partnership and will also see the driver with McLaren looking at options outside of F1. In fact, Alonso made his IndyCar debut in a McLaren branded car powered by a Honda engine and even lead the race briefly before retiring in the closing stages due to engine troubles.
Commenting on retaining Alonso next season, McLaren Racing Director, Eric Boullier 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. 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."
2018 will see a major upgrade for McLaren with Renault engines taking charge. The move is expected to change the team's fortunes helping them become more competitive this year. Alonso also reminded that while the last few years have not been easy, "we have never forgotten how to win."
McLaren also announced Alonso's retention in the most amusing way possible. Make sure to check out the video below.