Alonso to leave Ferrari

Published: Thursday 20th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Fernando Alonso is to leave Ferrari after Sunday’s season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari announced the news in a statement on Thursday following weeks of speculation over the Spaniard’s future.

Ever since Sebastian Vettel revealed seven weeks ago he was leaving Red Bull, with team principal Christian Horner later stating the German was heading to Ferrari, Alonso has been earmarked to bring an end to his five-year association with the Maranello marque.

There remains no information as to his destination for 2015, although it is understood he has already agreed terms on a return to McLaren.

The announcement brings to an end Alonso’s five-year relationship with the team which has failed to yield the third world title he long believed would be his in switching allegiance to the Maranello marque.

Alonso did finish runner-up on three occasions, missing out by four points in 2010 and just three in 2012, whilst he was a long way adrift last season, with Vettel champion on each occasion.

Instead, Alonso leaves with only 11 victories to his name, the last of which was on home soil in Spain last season, as well as another 33 podiums.

Since Red Bull’s announcement of Vettel’s departure shortly before the Japanese Grand Prix, Alonso has since played games with the media when quizzed on his future plans.

Although apparently knowing where he is heading, the 33-year-old still conceded leaving Ferrari was tough.

Alonso said: “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.

“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 One 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.

“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.”

Published: Thursday 20th November 2014 by The News Editor

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