Fernando Alonso’s announcement that he will race for McLaren-Honda in 2015 reunites him with the team that he raced for back in 2007 having moved to the team as a two-time World Drivers’ Champion with Renault.
Having left the Scuderia Ferrari team after five years, but felt it was the right move to be rejoining the team that he took four wins for in his first spell in finishing third in the championship. He has long admired Ayrton Senna and was delighted to be following his idol into driving for McLaren with Honda power.
“I have never hidden my deep admiration for Ayrton Senna, my favourite driver, my idol on track, my reference,” said Alonso. “I still remember, as a kid, the posters in my wardrobe, my toy cars in which I dreamed I would one day emulate Ayrton, and the kart that my father built for my older sister, and that I ended up falling in love with.
“That kart had the livery of one of the most legendary partnerships in the history of Formula 1, McLaren-Honda, the car that Ayrton drove, the same partnership to which I am now honoured to join, to take part in the next Formula 1 world championship.”
Alonso admitted he had received other offers to drive before opting to choose McLaren, and it was the teams’ determination to return to the front of the field that was one of the factors on his decision to join the Woking team.
“I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me,” said Alonso.
“Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest. But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long.
“McLaren-Honda’s repeated and open desire, perseverance and determination in making it possible for me to join their exciting renewed partnership, have been some of the main factors that made me take this decision, not forgetting the most important factor of all: we share a common objective and expectations, and there is a very solid future, with confidence, ahead.”
The Spaniard has already spent time at the McLaren facility in the United Kingdom and the Honda facilities in Japan, and believes the partnership that first ran between 1988 and 1992 will turn out to be successful like the first time.
“I have had in-depth discussions with all the senior people at both McLaren and Honda, I have viewed their fantastic facilities in both the UK and Japan, and it is clear to me that, together, McLaren and Honda are in the process of beginning what is sure to be a long and successful partnership,” said Alonso. “And I intend to give 100% effort to help make it exactly that.
“Finally, I want to thank the persistence of those who have fought so hard for this to come true. I will do everything in my power to deliver for everyone and for our team, based on a formula that has always worked for me: effort, sacrifice, perseverance and faith.
“We have time, we have hopes and we have the necessary resources. Let the legend return: that is our challenge.”