Fernando Alonso Signs New McLaren Contract for 2018


Fernando Alonso has signed a multiyear contract extension with McLaren F1, ensuring his spot on the 2018 Formula 1 grid while leaving the door open to other opportunities - a full-time IndyCar effort in 2019, maybe? - in the future. Alonso has done well to get the most out of an ailing auto and still has the competitive streak that saw him win 32 races - even though the last of those was in 2013 with Ferrari. Honda's power units have been miserably unreliable and off-pace, and no one at McLaren has been happy over the past few years running them.

"He's always been clear to me that this is a team he loves, and that his heart has always been set on staying".

Things are finally looking up for Alonso in F1 after years of struggle.

The Spaniard said: "It's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren".

"McLaren has the technical resource and financial strength to be able to very quickly win races and world championships in F1", Alonso said.

McLaren have gone some way toward answering those doubts by ending a troubled partnership with Honda and switching to Renault engines in 2018.

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'I'm excited for our future together - and I'm already working hard to make it a success'.

The return to McLaren in 2015 - he spent a season partnering Lewis Hamilton in 2007 - was meant to herald a new beginning for both Alonso and McLaren, who won four consecutive constructors' world titles powered by the Japanese manufacturer from 1988 to 1991.

"They had their own particular situation with the engine: they needed to decide if they were sticking with Honda or changing supplier".

Mario Andretti, who won the 1978 F1 world title, has always been a fan of Alonso, but his admiration has grown after watching how the Spaniard took on the task of racing at the Indianapolis 500 in May.

He has a long-term goal of becoming only the second driver to complete the Triple Crown - winning the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans and the Indy500.

"In the end they made a decision to change supplier and move to Renault and we had to wait a few more weeks to have all the information about the engine that I wanted". Thankfully, since McLaren will run Renault power units next year, they might actually have a competitive vehicle. Fernando fully understands and buys in to the direction we are taking.