Scuderia Ferrari and Fernando Alonso have confirmed that their partnership that began in 2010 will end after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ending weeks of rumours and speculation.
The Spaniard has won eleven races in that time, the last of which was the Spanish Grand Prix back in 2013, but the 2014 season has not gone to plan for neither him nor the team, with just two podium finishes to show for his efforts.
Team Principal Marco Mattiacci praised Alonso for everything the Spaniard has done whilst at the team, including finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship on three occasions, including taking the fight for the title down to the final race of the year twice. Mattiacci feels the team and their Tifosi supporters will always hold Alonso in high regard.
“In the Scuderia Ferrari roll of honour of great drivers, Fernando Alonso will always occupy a special place,” said Mattiacci. “We offer him our heartfelt thanks for what has been an extraordinary adventure with the Scuderia, when in the past five years, he twice came so close to winning the world championship.
“I am sure that a great driver like Fernando will always hold the Prancing Horse dear to his heart and I also expect the Ferrari fans will continue to hold him in high regard in his future endeavours.”
Alonso admitted it was not easy for him to be leaving Ferrari after five years, but felt that some of the best moments of his career have been achieved whilst for the team from Maranello. Even though he did not take a title whilst driving for the team, he was proud of his achievements.
“Today is not an easy one for me, because even if I always look to the future with great enthusiasm and determination, at the end of this season my journey as a Ferrari driver will come to an end,” said Alonso. “It was a difficult decision to take, but a carefully considered one and from start to finish, my love for Ferrari was a prime consideration. I have always been lucky enough to make my own decisions about my future and I have that possibility now too.
“I must thank the team for that, as it understood my position. I leave Scuderia Ferrari after five years, during which I reached my very best level professionally, tackling major challenges that pushed me to find new limits. I also proved to be a true team-player, putting the interests of the Scuderia before my own.
“When I had to take important decisions about my future, I did so with Ferrari in my heart, driven by my love for the team. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. Thanks to the efforts of the men and women of Maranello, on three occasions we came second in the Formula 1 World Championship, two of them fighting for the title right up to and including the final race, running in a championship winning position for many laps.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, these five years produced some of the best moments of my career and I also feel that, in leaving the team, it is family rather than friends I am leaving behind. Now I look to the future with great enthusiasm, knowing that part of my heart will always belong to the Prancing Horse. I want to thank each and everyone of the team for the trust they showed in me.”