Retaining Alonso in 2018 ‘Made Sense’ for McLaren – Brown

by Paul Hensby

Zak Brown feels the decision to extend Fernando Alonso’s contract with the McLaren F1 Team made sense, especially as the Spaniard has been a major asset of the Woking-based team during the last three seasons.

The Executive Director of the McLaren Technology Group has always been a supporter of the thirty-six-year-old, and feels he remains one of the best drivers on the grid despite the results not being as strong as either team or driver would have liked.

“I’m delighted to be able to confirm that Fernando will remain at McLaren,” said Brown. “He has been a fantastic asset to the whole organisation for the past three years, is an incredible individual and is one of the most accomplished and talented racing drivers of the modern era.

“It always made sense for us to continue our journey together.”

Alonso has yet to register a podium finish since returning to McLaren ahead of the 2015 season, with a trio of fifth places in the 2015 Hungarian and 2016 Monaco and United States Grand Prix his best results, but with the team switching from Honda to Renault power next year, hopes are high that the results will come.

“His commitment will allow us to further improve the attractiveness and potential of the wider Group, and will ensure we head into 2018 feeling increasingly confident that we’ll be able to take a meaningful step forward,” said Brown. “Fernando fully understands and buys in to the direction we are taking.

“Our shareholders have ambitious plans for the whole Group, and success within Formula 1 is a central pillar of that strategy. With Fernando, there is no doubt that we have a driver who can help us achieve our goal of winning again in F1 – and, believe me, we are all keen to do that.”

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