VIDEO: McLaren announce Alonso deal for 2018

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McLaren have announced that Fernando Alonso has extended his relationship with the team.

Reports suggest that this is a long-term deal beyond 2018 per Alonso and there is also talk of contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well.

A good move and especially if McLaren can become competitive with their new Renault engine.

Fernando 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.

“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 forgot-ten 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.”

Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group, said:

“I’m delighted to be able to confirm that Fernando will remain at McLaren. He 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.

“It always made sense for us to continue our journey together.

“His commitment will allow us to further improve the attractiveness and po-tential of the wider Group, and will ensure we head into 2018 feeling in-creasingly confident that we’ll be able to take a meaningful step forward. Fernando fully understands and buys in to the direction we are taking.

“Our shareholders have ambitious plans for the whole Group, and success within Formula 1 is a central pillar of that strategy. With Fernando, there is no doubt that we have a driver who can help us achieve our goal of win-ning again in F1 – and, believe me, we are all keen to do that.”

Eric Boullier, McLaren Racing Director, 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.

“He’s always been clear to me that this is a team he loves, and that his heart has always been set on staying. 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 sea-son.

“Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum, and, with Fernando and Stoffel, we’re lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1.”

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Junipero Mariano

Huh, I would’ve figured on a 1 year deal to see if Ferrari or Mercedes free up after next year.
Wonder if Red Bull is worrying about what McLaren can do.

p1ngu

Both Mercedes and Ferrari could have had Fernando for 2018, but chose to retain their faltering Finns despite Alonso’s acknowledged brilliance.

I think even the most Alonsoist of F1 fans has to accept that he’s never going to get a better drive than he has now, that he’ll never be allowed anywhere near the (current) top three teams. Too disruptive, too difficult, too expensive and no better than either Seb or Lewis, plus he’ll be 38 come the 2019 season and even Fernando’s talent will be dulled by time.

Salvu Borg

Doing the rounds is Alonso agreed to stay for 40 million dollars of which mclaren not being in a position to fork-out is being dished-out by Honda for the rights to keep using some mclaren technology on the engine mainly to do with engine electronics.

Dancing_Horse

Your absolutely right P1NGU in your statement concerning Mercedes and Ferrari not grabbing Alonzo, especailly disturbed at Ferrari on that one. Love Kimi but the reality is some have it and some lose it, and Kimi has lost, especailly when its needed most. Alonzo on the other hand has had it and continues to have it. Given a good ride such as Mercedes or Ferrari, he can dominate, and the young guys would flounder at the old man who isn’t tripping over his beard yet. I surely hope Renault/McLaren can come through for him, for he has shown magic in… Read more »

p1ngu

Where we differ, I suspect, is that I’d do the same as the Mercedes and Ferrari management. Well, not quite – I’d have picked someone to come in rather than Kimi purely because you want to develop a number 2 to take over, hopefully. But there’s no way I’d hire Alonso. For all of his brilliance – and I absolutely acknowledge that he’s one of the best drivers ever – he’s got too much baggage, has disrupted too many teams. And, as I said, the curtain has to come down some time soon. He’s got two years at the highest… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

I’m guessing that the upcoming switch to Renault engines enabled McLaren to hang onto Alonso. We’ll see how this turns out.