Fernando Alonso signs new contract with McLaren for 2018

1y ago

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Fernando Alonso will continue to drive for McLaren in 2018 after signing a contract extension with the team.

McLaren, who will be powered by Renault next year after splitting from Honda, confirmed the renewal ahead of the United States GP in Austin.

"It's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren," said Alonso. "It was always where my heart was telling me to stay, and I really feel at home 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."

The two-time world champion will drive alongside Stoffel Vandoorne next season, who learned he would be retained for a second full season in August.

Alonso's new deal, which is likely to contain an opt-out for 2019 when the driver market is set to be transformed, means that McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari will all field unchanged line-ups next term.

Alonso re-joined McLaren from Ferrari in 2015 in the hope of winning a third world title but has so far failed to finish on the podium, let alone win a race, following three seasons of struggle with a Honda power unit he complained had "no reliability and no power."

The 36-year-old had been increasingly vocal in his criticism of Honda this season but had also seen his options of remaining in F1 with a competitive drive away from McLaren all but disappear.

Alonso will now hope that the switch to Renault power, with which he won his two world championships in 2005 and 2006, will return him to the front of the field and potentially deliver the third title he craves.

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