Sport

Alonso to race on with McLaren in 2018

So bad was the situation at the start of this year that McLaren agreed to release Alonso so that he could take part in the Indy 500 rather than the Monaco Grand Prix.

McLaren did not say whether the contract extended beyond next year.

But despite signing up Alonso and pairing him with 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button, it failed spectacularly.

"I think he's like me. he's been in Formula One for many years, but he's a racing driver, not just an F1 driver, so you'll see him doing other things", he said.

Executive director Zak Brown has this week confirmed that Alonso would be allowed to compete in other events as long as it didn't affect his Formula One commitments.

Thankfully, Alonso didn't rule out another run at the Indianapolis 500 or a run at the 24 Hours of Le Mans-the two other races he needs to complete the Triple Crown of Motorsport-even though he did admit it's too early too tell when he might do so. Alonso has done well to get the most out of an ailing vehicle and still has the competitive streak that saw him win 32 races - even though the last of those was in 2013 with Ferrari.

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He has six retirements in 16 races so far in 2017, and failed to start in Russian Federation while also missing Monaco to compete at the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix 2017 - Suzuka Circuit, Japan - October 5, 2017.

McLaren then ended their troubled partnership with Honda, under increasing criticism from Alonso, and will switch to Renault engines in 2018. The Spaniard has scored points only twice. "I think this year we have proved that the chassis was capable of fighting at the front". While he couldn't speak on any particulars, the contract is believed to be for one year with an option to extend, per the BBC. After the summer break, maybe around Spa or Monza, I was ready to make an extension of the contract but at that time the team was not ready.

Alonso, who won the title in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, said "it's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren" and that "my heart was telling me to stay".

"Obviously the last few years have been a big challenge and what you want is the best team and the best drivers in the world that you can get", he said. 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 One is a central pillar of that strategy".



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