Fernando Alonso to retire from F1 at end of the season after 17 years

Fernando Alonso Getty Image

Fernando Alonso is to leave Formula One at the end of the season, McLaren have confirmed.

The 37-year-old has had a glittering career in F1, winning back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, the first of which made him the then youngest ever champion.

Alonso, who is in his 17th season in the sport, has won 32 races, amassed 22 pole positions and reached the podium on 97 occasions.

World titles: Two (2005 and 2006)

Grand Prix appearances: 303

Teams: Minardi (2001), Renault (2002, test driver), Renault (2003-2006), McLaren (2007), Renault (2008-2009), Ferrari (2010-2014), McLaren (2015-present)

Debut: 2001 Australian Grand Prix

First win: 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix

Last win: 2013 Spanish Grand Prix

Wins: 32

Podiums: 97

Pole positions: 22

Fastest laps: 23

Total points: 1,893

Drivers’ championship record: First (2005, 2006), second (2010, 2012, 2013), third (2007), fourth (2004, 2011), fifth (2008), sixth (2003, 2014), ninth (2009), 10th (2016), 15th (2017), 17th (2015), 23rd (2001)

“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,” he said via a McLaren statement.

“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.”

Alonso, whose McLaren contract runs out at the end of this season, has cut a frustrated figure in recent years with the team unable to provide the talented Spaniard with a car capable of competing at the top end of the grid.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, Alonso had been linked with Red Bull or a return to Ferraribut he has also been heavily tipped to race in IndyCar having previously appeared in the series.

While confirming that he will not race in F1 next season, Alonso seemingly did not fully close the door on a future return.

MOST WINS:

Alonso has chalked up an impressive 32 wins during his 17 years in the sport, but is some way below Michael Schumacher’s best of 91.

Michael Schumacher – 91
Lewis Hamilton – 67
Alain Prost/Sebastian Vettel – 51
Ayrton Senna – 41
Fernando Alonso – 32

MOST POLES:

On 22 occasions, the former Ferrari driver has started a race from the head of the grid. Former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton leads the way in terms of securing the most pole positions, a statistic he looks certain to keep extending.

Lewis Hamilton – 77
Michael Schumacher – 68
Ayrton Senna – 65
Sebastian Vettel – 55
Jim Clark/Alain Prost – 33

He added: “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.”

A move to IndyCar would make the most sense in terms of Alonso’s ambitions to complete motorsport’s triple crown.

MOST PODIUMS:

Alonso is just three shy of reaching a century of career podium finishes. Schumacher, again, tops this list, with current drivers dominating the top of the list.

Michael Schumacher – 155
Lewis Hamilton – 126
Alain Prost/Sebastian Vettel – 106
Kimi Raikkonen – 99
Fernando Alonso – 97

MOST WORLD TITLES

It is no surprise that Schumacher continues to lead the way in terms of titles. Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel appear the most likely to challenge his tally out of the active drivers. Alonso’s successes came in 2005 and 2006, while he has finished second in the standings three times.

Michael Schumacher – 7
Juan Manuel Fangio – 5
Alain Prost/Sebastian Vettel/Lewis Hamilton – 4
Jack Brabham/Jackie Stewart/Niki Lauda/Nelson Piquet/Ayrton Senna – 3

Victories at the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans 24 Hours means he has two of those three legs, leaving just the Indianapolis 500 – which he raced in 2017 – to check off the list.

Alonso’s first drive in F1 came with Minardi, before he was later promoted to a race seat at Renault after impressing as a test driver.

After winning his two world titles with the team, Alonso joined McLaren in 2007 but a difficult working relationship with Lewis Hamilton led to a return to Renault just a year later.

Ferrari came calling in 2010 but he failed to win a another world title, finishing runner-up on three occasions before starting his second stint with McLaren in 2015, only for problems with their Honda engine partnership to end any hopes of him being competitive.

Also Read: Mercedes launches F1 Esports team

Source:@Sportstarlive

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