Former world champion Fernando Alonso is to retire from formula one at the end of the current season, the McLaren formula one team announced on Tuesday.

Alonso, who turned 37 in July, is competing in his 17th F1 season, his fifth with McLaren, and has amassed 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 97 podiums to date. Beyond his two titles with Renault – in 2005 he became the then-youngest world champion in F1 history – he has been championship runner-up three times, having also raced with Ferrari.

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." 

Alonso said that after 17 wonderful years in the sport, it was time for him to make a change and move on

He is expected to join the IndyCar series. He has  eclared he wants to become  only the second driver to take the 'Triple Crown of Motorsport' - the Monaco grand prix (which he has won twice) Le Mans, which he won in June on his debut and the Indianapolis 500 which he still has to win.

“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 said. 

“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."


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