Fernando Alonso decides to extend contract with McLaren for 2018 F1 season

The motor racing team McLaren announced on 15 September that they are going to switch Honda engines to Renault power units from the next season.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso Reuters

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has signed a new contract with his current team McLaren for 2018 Formula one season.

The motor racing team McLaren announced on 15 September that they are going to switch Honda engines to Renault power units from the next season. That triggered Alonso's interest for renewing his contract and the confirmation came on 19 October, Thursday.

"It's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren," Alonso said as told by Formula1.com.

"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 forgotten how to win, and I believe we can achieve that again soon," he further added.

The 36-year-old first teamed with McLaren in 2007 but he shifted to Renault and then joined Ferrari. However, Alonso came back to his current team in 2015. Since then it will be his fourth season with the eight-time F1 World Constructors' Champions.

"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," he said.

The Spanish driver, who won his two championship title in 2005 and 2006, believes that after facing three difficult seasons with Honda's engine, the merger between McLaren and Renault could boost the team and would bring the competitiveness back.

On the other hand, according to BBC, the executive director of McLaren Zak Brown siad, "Fernando 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," he further added.

"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 winning again in F1 - and, believe me, we are all keen to do that," the director concluded.