Fernando Alonso: McLaren driver signs new contract for 2018 season

Fernando Alonso will continue to drive for McLaren in 2018.

The 36-year-old Spaniard has signed a new deal which is believed to be for one year with options to extend.

The two-time world champion believes McLaren’s new engine deal with Renault will return the team to competitiveness next year after three difficult seasons with Honda.

Alonso had spent some time exploring his options both inside and outside F1 but said he “feels at home” at McLaren.

He added: “It was always where my heart was telling me to stay.

“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.

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

“The last three years have given us the momentum to plan and build for the future, and I’m looking forward to that journey.”

Alonso at McLaren-Honda
Total races 53
Top 10 finishes 13
Total points 75
Retirements 16

Alonso’s new contract means he could stay with McLaren for some time to fulfil his ambitions to win the Le Mans 24 Hours and Indianapolis 500, to complete motor racing’s ‘triple crown’. He has already won the Monaco Grand Prix twice, one of them with McLaren.

McLaren executive director Zak Brown said: “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.

“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.”

Alonso’s team-mate in 2018 will be Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, whose position at McLaren was confirmed last month.