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Published: 17:28 | 19/10/17

Alonso to stay at McLaren for 2018 season

Double world champion Fernando Alonso has signed a new deal to drive for McLaren in 2018.

The Spaniard, who was world champion with Renault in 2005 and 2006, was mulling over his future midway through the season, but opted to sign a new contract after the British team ended its' partnership with Honda and switched to Renault engines for 2018.

"It's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren," Alonso, 36, said.

"It was always where my heart was telling me to stay, and I really feel at home here.

"Just as important, McLaren has the technical resource and financial strength to be able to very quickly win races and world championships in F1. 

"Although the last few years have not been easy, we have never forgotten how to win, and I believe we can achieve that again soon.

"The last three years have given us the momentum to plan and build for the future, and I'm looking forward to that journey. I'm excited for our future together - and I'm already working hard to make it a success."

Alonso cut a frustrated figure during the season, as the Honda engine struggled with reliability issues, shouting "embarrassing, really embarrassing" after being passed by Haas' Romain Grosjean during August's Belgian GP, and turning off the radio to the paddock at one point after becoming annoyed by over-complicated team advice.

But McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier is confident the 2018 Renault engine will help Alonso, who has managed just 13 top-10 finishes in 53 races for McLaren, to compete regularly for points next season.

"While we've often shared his frustrations over the past few years, we now feel that we can deliver on our promise to give him a competitive car next season," Boullier said.

"Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum, and, with Fernando and Stoffel [Belgian team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne], we're lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1."

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Image: Getty/Lars Baron

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