Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at end of season

Fernando Alonso to retire from Formula One at end of season

It's been a troubled last four seasons for Alonso, the former F1 front-runner, generally perceived as one of the greatest talents in the history of the sport, having been deprived of wins and even podiums since joining McLaren in 2015.

"I have seen you (Formula One) changing, sometimes for good, others, in my opinion, for bad", said Alonso, who on three occasions finished runner-up in the drivers' championship while at Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso is a professional Formula One racer now competing for McLaren who's won the world championship twice over the course of his career.

He is a double Formula 1 world champion, of course; a Spanish sporting idol, undoubtedly; and he is one of the very best racing drivers of his generation, arguably. Every time I close my visor I feel your energy, your warm embrace.

Alonso made his F1 debut for Minardi in 2001 and his form for the perennial strugglers earned him a move to Renault.

A victor of both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the F1 Monaco Grand Prix, Alonso now just needs to win the Verizon IndyCar Series Indianapolis 500 to complete racing's "triple crown". Alonso was so often the right man at the wrong place at the wrong time, but he still leaves an impressive legacy and will be hugely missed.

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

But just who is Fernando Alonso?

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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. A two-time victor at Monaco and now a Le Mans victor, Alonso only needs to win the Indy 500 to complete motorsports unofficial "Triple Crown".

While he won't race in F1 next year, Alonso is unlikely to retire, saying that "new, exciting challenges are around the corner".

"I want to thank everyone at McLaren", added Alonso.

"There is a time for everyone to make a change and Fernando has decided the end of this season to be his".

Alonso won the latter of those earlier this year, and now only needs the Indy 500 to complete a feat that has only been achieved once before, by Graham Hill in 1972.

Fernando Alonso is now believed to be single, though has reportedly been in a relationship with Italian model Linda Morselli since 2017. Our open dialogue with Fernando has meant we could plan for this eventuality.

While Fernando Alonso's future remains uncertain, it's clear the INDYCAR paddock would welcome him in 2019.

However, with nine races left in the 2018 season he should overtake both Schumacher and Button before the end of the year.

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