Mark Miles, the chief executive officer of IndyCar and Hulman & Company, added fuel to the fire following the announcement. What’s more, Miles confirmed that Alonso intends to compete in the series throughout the championship in 2019. It remains to be seen, however, if McLaren will enter by itself or by means of linking up with Andretti or Rahal.
“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on,” declared Alonso, who’s entered Formula 1 in 200 as a test driver for Benetton. After two world champion titles with Renault and a lot of frustration with McLaren and Ferrari, he “cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.”
All told, Fernando’s career in Formula 1 brought him 32 wins, 22 pole positions, and 97 podiums. Bearing in mind Alonso has 302 starts to his name, he’s close but still some way off the record of Rubens Barrichello. Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget that Fernando has been championship runner-up three times.
Speaking about Alonso’s leave, McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown said: “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.”
Carlos Sainz Jr. is all but confirmed to take 'Nando's place at McLaren.