Published: Sat, October 21, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

F1 2017: Fernando Alonso Signs Deal With McLaren For 2018

F1 2017: Fernando Alonso Signs Deal With McLaren For 2018

In fact, Alonso made his IndyCar debut in a McLaren branded vehicle powered by a Honda engine and even lead the race briefly before retiring in the closing stages due to engine troubles.

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

Fernando Alonso had doubts about continuing in Formula 1 following his appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in May before ultimately deciding to remain in the series with McLaren.

The 36-year-old also revealed that he was ready to sign an extension in September just a few weeks after the summer break as he feels at home in McLaren.

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Alonso's contract allows him to venture outside F1 as long as there are no clashes. Alonso has expressed his desire to win Motorsport's "Triple Crown" of Monaco, Indy, and Le Mans, so a Daytona appearance could be a prelude.

"I'm very excited for next year, with different expectations and keen to put McLaren back where it deserves to be". Nevertheless, with McLaren moving to Renault engines next year, the Spanish driver has continued to show commitment to the British team. This means that RSR will be supplying engines for both Red Bull Racing and McLaren come next year.

"Now we have to step up and make it happen".

"The organisation now is much more logical in the way of winning in the short-term in Formula One".

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McLaren are currently ninth overall, out of 10 teams, and the season ranks as the worst of Alonso's career with the exception of his debut year with now-defunct tail-enders Minardi.

McLaren, who have not won a race since 2012 when Jenson Button triumphed in Brazil, were thrilled at their star driver's vote of confidence.

Eric Boullier, McLaren's Racing Director, stated that there is no other driver that can deliver results aside from Alonso. Today's announcement shows that he's fully committed to racing and winning as a McLaren driver, and, while we've often shared his frustrations over the past few years, we now feel that we can deliver on our promise to give him a competitive auto next season.

"Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum, and, with Fernando and Stoffel, we're lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1".

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The news was confirmed in Austin on Thursday morning local time ahead of this weekend's American Grand Prix.

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