“Although I’ve spent two years as a Formula 1 driver with McLaren, I’ve been with the team for five years and call many of them my friends,” he said.
“I’ve built a great relationship with McLaren and it’s been a significant part of my life. My final grand prix as a McLaren driver on Sunday will be sentimental, but also the right time to say goodbye to this chapter in my career.
“I want to leave Abu Dhabi on a high, so we’ll be putting everything we can into maximising our weekend and getting the most out of it.”
While Alonso has called time on his F1 career for now at least, he will continue to drive for McLaren which is entering a car for him in next year’s Indianapolis 500.
“Abu Dhabi will certainly be a very emotional race for me, as it will be the end of a long and happy 17 years in Formula 1,” he said. “The time has come for me to move on, but I’m looking forward to ending the season – and my F1 career – on a positive note.
“I’m also pleased that my relationship with McLaren will continue with the Indy 500, and there will be more new challenges together. There are very exciting things ahead, and I’m enthusiastic for what the future will bring. For now, I’m not ruling anything out.”
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2018 F1 season
- McLaren staff told us we were “totally crazy” to take Honda engines in 2018 – Tost
- ‘It doesn’t matter if we start last’: How Red Bull’s junior team aided Honda’s leap forward
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault