Alonso will not race in Formula 1 in 2019

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has announced he will not race in Formula 1 in the 2019 season.

Alonso will not race in Formula 1 in 2019

The McLaren driver announced his decision on Tuesday, mid-way through F1's summer break.

"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," Alonso said.

"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 has been debating his grand prix future amid frustration over an uncompetitive second spell with McLaren and the monopoly over results by the teams at the front.

The Spaniard was allowed to miss the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix to make his Indianapolis 500 debut, and he challenged for victory in the famous race before retiring.

McLaren boss Zak Brown said: "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."

 

McLaren said he was not allowed to repeat his Indy bid this season, but did give Alonso permission to combine his F1 efforts with a full FIA World Endurance Championship superseason campaign.

Alonso went on to win the Le Mans 24 Hours at the first attempt with Toyota.

With two Monaco GP wins under his belt, Alonso's Le Mans victory leaves just Indy unconquered in his bid for motorsport's unofficial 'triple crown'.

Alonso is extremely unlikely to add to his tally of 32 grand prix victories before he leaves F1 at the end of the year, and is just three shy of hitting 100 podiums.

However, Alonso will surpass Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher in the list of all-time starts as he should end the year with 311 GP starts, which would only be bested by Rubens Barrichello (322).

Alonso made his F1 debut in 2001, driving for Minardi, before moving to Renault as a test driver the following season in preparation for a 2003 race seat.

He played a key role in helping the French manufacturer to its modern F1 pomp, taking his first win in Hungary that year and then becoming the youngest world champion in 2005.

Alonso bested Ferrari legend and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher the following season to earn a second consecutive crown.

However, Alonso's F1 career has been on a slope since.

He moved to McLaren for 2007 but that descended into a bitter rivalry with the team's rookie Lewis Hamilton, and after their battle allowed Kimi Raikkonen to steal the title at the final race Alonso went back to an uncompetitive Renault for 2008 and 2009.

Alonso switched to Ferrari for the 2010 season, but his timing was flawed and he spent five years wrestling with cars that were never the peak of the field.

Despite that, Alonso racked up 11 wins with the Scuderia and fought for the 2010 and 2012 titles, with his efforts in 2012 particularly memorable as he valiantly, but fruitlessly, attempted to deny Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull.

Alonso finally fell out with Ferrari when it badly misjudged the new-for-2014 V6 turbo-hybrid engine rules and was a distant fourth behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams.

He switched to McLaren for 2015, tempted by the prospect of restoring the ailing team to its recent former glories with the help of the full power of returning manufacturer Honda.

However, the second coming of McLaren-Honda was uncompetitive and unreliable from the beginning and Alonso spent most of the next three seasons dealing with immense frustration, which sometimes spilled out into public digs at the Japanese manufacturer.

McLaren decided to split from Honda at the end of 2017 and agreed a Renault supply, which the team and Alonso expected to facilitate challenges for podiums.

However, it has been comfortably bested by Red Bull and Renault's works team, which is only in a rebuilding phase.

 

shares
comments
Williams: Tough to judge 2019 aero targets

Previous article

Williams: Tough to judge 2019 aero targets

Next article

McLaren’s Alonso statement in full

McLaren’s Alonso statement in full
Load comments
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone Prime

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win at Silverstone

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021