Alonso Will Retire From F1 At End of 2018 Season
With the record of 32 grand prix victories, 97 podium finishes, and two world driving championships, Fernando Alonso Tuesday (August 14th) announced that he will step down from driving in formula 1 at the end of the 2018 season.
Giving the indication a few days ago that something was going to happen, Alonso ended weeks of speculation of where he was going to turn.
"After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it's time for me to make a change and move on. 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.” Alonso stated on the McLaren web site. “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.
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 and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy. I have built so many great relationships with many fantastic people at McLaren, and they have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and race in other categories. I feel I am a more complete driver now than ever. "I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. Nevertheless, I would like to sincerely thank Chase Carey and Liberty Media for the efforts made to change my mind and everyone who has contacted me during this time.
Finally, I would also like to thank my former teams, team-mates, competitors, colleagues, partners, journalists and everyone I have worked with in my F1 career. And, especially, my fans all over the world. I am quite sure our paths will cross again in the future."
Alonso began racing in F1 in 2001 with the now-defunct Minardi team before changing to Renault two seasons later. His first victory was in 2003 in Hungary before winning his first of two world titles in 2005. A controversial move came in 2007, when he moved to the McLaren team, alongside Lewis Hamilton. Regular disagreements between the two drivers in the Woking team led the Spaniard to move back to Renault in 2008.
However, Alonso continued with Ferrari, when he lost another chance at F1 glory in 2012 to Sebastian Vettel. Alonso finally returned once again to McLaren, where he currently holds the final season of a three-year contract.
Alonso’s last victory came in 2013, and now, the question is what will he do next? Since the energy of F1 is gone, Alonso will certainly continue to drive for Toyota until the 24 Hours of LeMans next June. However, besides this, there is a possibility that the Spaniard will also race in the Verizon IndyCar Series next year.
But for whatever Alonso has done and will do later on, he has made his mark in the world of formula 1 racing as one of the greats of this sport.
A 16 year veteran of writing formula one racing weekend race reports, features and team launches, Mark has worked for such companies as all-sports, e-sports, The Munich Eye newspaper in Germany, racingnation.com and Autoweek. A former member for this site four years ago, Mark now is a contributor for R.I.S.