FERNANDO ALONSO has committed his future to McLaren after extending his contract with the Formula One team.
Two-time world champion Alonso, who is in the midst of his worst campaign in Formula One, has penned a one-year extension.
The 36-year-old 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.
“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.”
Alonso, who has not won a race since the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix and has finished in the points just twice this year, made McLaren sweat over his future.
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But with no vacancies at Mercedes, his former team Ferrari, or indeed Red Bull, the Spaniard was left with little option than to extend his stay at McLaren into a fourth successive year.
Alonso’s widely-anticipated decision to stay at McLaren was announced on the eve of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
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“I’m delighted to be able to confirm that Fernando will remain at McLaren,” said Zak Brown, the team’s American executive director.
“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 potential of the wider group, and will ensure we head into 2018 feeling increasingly confident that we’ll be able to take a meaningful step forward. Fernando fully understands and buys in to the direction we are taking.”
Alonso is regarded as one of the most talented drivers of the modern era, but he won the last of his two successive championships more than a decade ago.
He missed this year’s Monaco Grand Prix to compete in the prestigious Indianapolis 500 and was in with a chance of victory only to retire with an engine issue in the closing stages.
Alonso has set his sights on winning the so-called Triple Crown – that of winning the Monaco Grand Prix, which he has done on two occasions – the Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours race – before his career ends.
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