Fernando Alonso, who currently drives for McLaren, has announced that he is set to retire at the end of the current F1 campaign.
The Spanish driver, a two-time world champion after winning titles in 2005 and 2006, has amassed a total of 32 wins in a career that began 17 years ago. The 37-year-old is currently 9th in the driver standings this season, with a total of 44 points collected so far.
Speaking about the decision he’s made, Alonso said, “After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport it’s time for me to make a change and move on.” It certainly seems that the Spaniard has been mulling his situation over for a while as he added “I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.”
Attention will now turn to the future for Alonso, who has taken part in other racing events over recent times. “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,” said Alonso, who won the Le Mans 24-hour race at the first attempt just a couple of months ago.
With the Le Mans victory under his belt, as well as being a Monaco grand prix winner, Alonso could now target the triple crown of motorsport. The only thing missing is success in the Indianapolis 500 and it’s a race he entered back in 2017. During the race, Alonso did lead for a total of 27 laps, but engine failure brought an end to the Spaniard’s strong performance close to the end. Graham Hill is the only man to have competed the feat, but it doesn’t seem out of Alonso’s reach to become the second.
Alonso hasn’t completely closed the door on a return to F1 though, speaking about his current employers he said, “I want to thank everyone at McLaren. My heart is with the team forever.” He then went on to say, “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.” So, there’s always a chance that Alonso will return to the sport one day in the future.
Right now, the focus for Alonso will be to perform as well as possible for both himself and his team in what is currently his final season in F1. It’s unlikely that the McLaren driver will be able to climb into the top six of the standings but he’s currently only eight points adrift of Nico Hulkenberg in 7th place. It will then be interesting to see what’s next on the agenda from one of F1’s most loved drivers.