Fernando Alonso: McLaren's Spanish star to leave Formula One

Formula One is to lose one of its bona fide stars after two-time world champion Fernando Alonso announced he...

Posted: Aug 15, 2018 12:40 PM
Updated: Aug 15, 2018 12:40 PM

Formula One is to lose one of its bona fide stars after two-time world champion Fernando Alonso announced he will not race in the sport next year.

The Spaniard won the 2005 and 2006 world drivers' title with Renault and has been runner-up three times.

Auto racing

Fernando Alonso

Formula One

Motor sports organizations

Motorsports

Sports and recreation

Sports figures

Sports organizations and teams

Alonso, who is ninth in the standings with nine races to go this season, has accumulated 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 97 podiums to date.

"After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it's time for me to make a change and move on," the 37-year-old told his McLaren team's website.

"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."

READ: Fernando Alonso hails 'different culture' of US sports fans

Alonso thanked his teammates and fans, as well as Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey for trying to persuade him to reconsider.

"I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one," he added.

Alonso made his F1 debut for Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix in 2001 before joining Renault as a test driver in 2002.

The Spaniard's 2005 title ended Michael Schumacher's five-year reign and made him the then-youngest world champion in F1 history, at the age of 24 years and 59 days.

He endured a tumultuous and often acrimonious season alongside Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2007 before a brief return to Renault followed by a four-year stint with Ferrari from 2010. He rejoined McLaren in 2015.

READ: Alonso and Toyota win at WEC Spa

READ: Lewis Hamilton calls plastic pollution 'disgusting' after beach clean up

Over the years, Alonso has dabbled in other forms of motor racing, mostly endurance related. He finished 24th in last year's Indianapolis 500, and participated in the Daytona 24 Hours race in January.

In June, he won the Le Mans 24 Hours, inching him closer to motor racing's triple crown. Graham Hill is the only driver to have achieved that feat by securing wins at Monaco, the Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans.

While he won't be racing in F1 in 2019, Alonso tweeted an emotional thank you to the sport in the form of a video and poem.

"When I barely knew how to walk, I ran towards your noise, your circuits, without knowing anything about you," he wrote.

"We had very good times, some unforgettable, others really bad. We have played together, against incredible rivals. You played with me, and I learned how to play with you too.

"I have seen you changing, sometimes for good, sometimes in my opinion for bad. Every time i close the visor of my helmet I feel your warm embrace, your energy, there is nothing like it.

"But today I have some other bigger challenges than those you can offer me. And this year, while I am still driving at my best, is how I want to remember you.

"I can only be grateful to you and to the people that are part of you, for having introduced to me so many cultures, traditions, languages, wonderful people, for having been my life.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features and videos

"I know you love me, be certain that I love you too."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32437

Reported Deaths: 2030
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9371546
Lake3347170
Cass15867
Allen135366
St. Joseph121834
Hendricks113567
Hamilton112391
Johnson1092104
Elkhart107028
Madison58259
Porter49521
Bartholomew48634
Clark47141
LaPorte41523
Tippecanoe3803
Howard37620
Jackson3681
Delaware35936
Hancock32327
Shelby32121
Floyd31539
Boone29335
Morgan27024
Vanderburgh2532
Montgomery23317
White2288
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19521
Noble19221
Harrison18821
Dubois1852
Henry1709
Greene16824
Warrick16528
Dearborn16421
Monroe16211
Vigo1507
Lawrence14623
Miami1391
Putnam1347
Jennings1284
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1136
Franklin1068
Kosciusko971
Carroll932
Daviess8416
Marshall801
Steuben802
Wayne755
Newton7410
Wabash732
Fayette714
Jasper621
LaGrange622
Washington521
Fulton471
Jay460
Randolph453
Rush452
Jefferson421
Whitley412
Clay411
Pulaski400
Owen341
Sullivan331
DeKalb331
Brown331
Starke313
Perry260
Wells260
Huntington262
Knox250
Benton250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford202
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke180
Spencer171
Posey160
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0159

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 114306

Reported Deaths: 5083
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook745213455
Lake7845270
DuPage7350347
Kane5947162
Will5279264
Winnebago200152
McHenry147569
St. Clair103573
Kankakee80843
Kendall73619
Rock Island63823
Champaign5807
Madison54457
Boone41016
Sangamon33727
DeKalb3343
Randolph2644
Jackson24210
McLean21513
Out of IL2051
Stephenson1942
Ogle1932
Macon18919
Peoria1888
Clinton17817
Union1437
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13410
Iroquois1314
Coles11912
Warren1130
Unassigned1100
Jefferson10116
Knox940
Monroe9311
Grundy882
McDonough837
Lee761
Tazewell693
Cass680
Henry670
Williamson572
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin431
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion371
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess310
Livingston312
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Carroll142
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
65° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
More Rain Thursday
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events