Fernando Alonso will compete with McLaren in the 2018 season after extending his contract. The Spaniard returned to the Woking-based team in 2015 after signing a three-year deal, but has been left frustrated after engine supplier Honda has failed to produce a competitive engine.
However, last month McLaren confirmed it would split from Honda at the end of the current season, replacing the Japanese manufacturer with Renault. Rumours sparked that the deal could convince Alonso to stay for another year, as it is expected McLaren will leap up the grid order with Renault engines.
"It’s fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren,” said Alonso. "It was always where my heart was telling me to stay, and I really feel at home here. This is a fantastic team, full of incredible people, with a warmth and friendliness that I’ve never experienced elsewhere in Formula 1. I’m incredibly happy to be racing 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."
After moving to McLaren in the hope of fighting for a world championship, Alonso has been left without a podium finish in current his three-year stint. However, the Spaniard sees brighter things ahead for himself and McLaren: "The last three years have given us the momentum to plan and build for the future, and I’m looking forward to that journey," he added. "I’m excited for our future together – and I’m already working hard to make it a success."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing