After 17 years, F1 champion Fernando Alonso has announced his retirement from the sport
Fernando Alonso is a two-time F1 World Championship winning driver. He claimed the title in back-to-back seasons back in 2005-2006 while driving for the Renault F1 Team.
In 2015, Alonso jumped from the Scuderia Ferrari team over to McLaren Honda. The McLaren team just brought in a new engine builder, it was Honda’s return to the sport.
The team struggled for several seasons as they developed their power plant. In 2018, the team is powered by Renualt. He’s collected 8 top-10’s in the twelve races so far. However, Alonso has elected to call it quits.
The announcement was made today on August 14, 2018. A retirement letter has been issued via a video that was filmed at the Fernando Alonso Museum.
Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing, commented:
“Fernando is not only an outstanding ambassador for McLaren but also for Formula 1. His 17 years in the sport, as arguably the pre-eminent driver of his generation and undoubtedly an F1 great, have added another layer to Formula 1’s rich history.
“There is a time for everyone to make a change and Fernando has decided the end of this season to be his. We respect his decision, even if we believe he is in the finest form of his career. Our open dialogue with Fernando has meant we could plan for this eventuality.
“While evaluating his future during the past months, Fernando’s competitiveness has been undimmed. He has continued to perform at the highest level throughout, as we know he will do in the remaining nine races of this year’s championship.
“I know that the entire team joins me in paying tribute to Fernando’s enormous contribution to McLaren; he is a legend both for the championship and for the team. Fernando is an important part of our story and will join an illustrious line of McLaren drivers.”
“On behalf of Shaikh Mohammed, Mansour and our entire board, we wish Fernando every success in the future.”
Fernando Alonso commented:
“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on. I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.
“There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.
“Let’s see what the future brings; new exciting challenges are around the corner. I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.
“I want to thank everyone at McLaren. My heart is with the team forever. I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy.”
“I have built so many great relationships with many fantastic people at McLaren, and they have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and race in other categories. I feel I am a more complete driver now than ever.”
“I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. Nevertheless, I would like to sincerely thank Chase Carey and Liberty Media for the efforts made to change my mind and everyone who has contacted me during this time.
“Finally, I would also like to thank my former teams, team-mates, competitors, colleagues, partners, journalists and everyone I have worked with in my F1 career. And, especially, my fans all over the world. I am quite sure our paths will cross again in the future.”
Fernando Alonso F1 retirement video
At the same time, Fernando Alonso released a video in poem form. It was a letter to F1 and it’s fans across the globe. That video can be seen below.
Fernando Alonso’s retirement letter:
“You were not expecting me and I was not sure I wanted to get to know you.”
“When I barely knew how to walk I ran towards your noise, your circuits, without knowing anything about you.”
“We had very some very good times, some unforgettable, others really bad. We have played together against incredible rivals and you played with me and I learnt how to play with you too. I have seen you changing, sometimes for good and sometimes for in my opinion for bad.”
“Every time I close the visor on my helmet I feel your warm embrace your energy, there is nothing like it. But today I have some other bigger challenges than you can offer me and this year while still driving at my best is how I want to remember you.””
“I can only be grateful to you and to the people that are a part of you. For having introduced me to so many cultures, traditions and languages, some wonderful people and for having been my life. I know you love me and be certain that I love you too.”
What’s next for Alonso?
Nothing has been confirmed. The rumors are spreading that Fernando Alonso could head to the Verizon Indycar Series for 2018.
Back in January 2018, Fernando Alonso visited Daytona International Speedway for the first time. He was there for IMSA testing ahead of the Rolex 24 hour race at Daytona.
While he was at the speedway Alonso commented on NASCAR:
“What I like about the racing in NASCAR is how unpredictable it is, and until the last lap, everyone is pushing each other and they’re trying to manage the strategy and think ahead of what is going to happen in the last lap, even 20 laps ahead,” Alonso said.
“That’s something that is unique in motorsport, what NASCAR does. From the outside, it is very attractive. But from the inside, I don’t know in the cockpit how it would feel,” Alonso concluded.
A few weeks earlier Alonso first expressed interest in NASCAR. Now, as he announces his retirement in F1.
NASCAR has issued an invite to the 2019 Daytona 500:
“A new challenge awaits,” NASCAR responded to the video above with a photo. “We hope you’ll accept with pleasure”