Formula 1 legendary driver Fernando Alonso will retire after the 2018 season. He is a two-time World Champion and the announcement about his retirement came on Tuesday in the middle of the summer break. Alonso said:
“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport it’s time for me to make a change and move on. 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.”
Fernando Alonso Big Potential, Struggles and Success
Fernando Alonso has had a stellar career. He debuted in 2001 and with 37 years, he is the most experienced driver currently in the industry. He has had more than 300 starts over his career and he currently occupies the sixth place on F1’s all-time wins list. However, his last victory was in 2013 in Spain. At that time, he was racing for Ferrari.
Alonso won his championships in 2005 and 2006 when he competed with Renault. He finished on the podium after 2013 as well one year after that then he returned to McLaren that reconnected with engine supplier Honda for the 2015 season. Although this sounded promising, the McLaren-Honda cooperation turned out to be a disastrous one and Alonso didn’t have a proper car that would allow him to finish at the top.
He was in the top 10 in only two races and even though McLaren improved some bits and pieces, Alonso was considered to be a waste of talent at the time.
Other Branches of Motorsport
The Spaniard started experimenting with some other motorsport races and in 2017 he participated in the Indy 500. Although this was his first appearance, he nearly finished at the top. Moreover, he is running a full FIA World Endurance Championship season with Toyota Gazoo Racing and he completed the second leg of the Triple Crown, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans Title, which is a nice addition.
He already has two Monaco Grand Prix victories and if he manages to win the Indy 500, he will be the second man to complete the Triple Crown of motorsport, behind Graham Hill.
Colleagues Say Farewells
With his retirement announcement, the other F1 drivers reacted on Twitter.
Felipe Massa wrote: “Congratulations @alo_oficial !! Be happy and enjoy your next challenge. For me you were one of the best driver in the planet!! Take care and God bless you.”
Congratulations @alo_oficial !! Be happy and enjoy your next challenge. ?? for me you were one of the best driver in the planet!! Take care and God bless you.??? https://t.co/VscpRoN6y6
— Felipe Massa (@MassaFelipe19) August 14, 2018
Romain Grosjean also responded: It has been a privilege and an honour being your friend, your team mate and racing against you in @F1 @alo_oficial . I will miss you at the end of the season.
It has been a privilege and an honour being your friend, your team mate and racing against you in @F1 @alo_oficial . I will miss you at the end of the season. https://t.co/rtn5cFnuHJ
— Romain Grosjean (@RGrosjean) August 14, 2018
But the other people had something to add as well. CEO of McLaren, Zak Brown stated: “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.”
What’s the next step?
The speculations regarding Alonso’s involvement with IndyCar in 2019 are swirling, but that remains to be seen. Perhaps he will make a break and enjoy the retirement with his family. After all, he deserved it. And we are glad that we can watch his final races in F1! We will enjoy it while we can.