Alonso to race on with McLaren in 2018

The 36-year-old has been critical of the unreliable Honda engine that has significantly hindered McLaren this season, as well as their previous two campaigns, and his future was thrown up in the air when he made a decision to miss the Monaco Grand Prix in May - one of the jewels on the Formula One calendar - to contest the Indianapolis 500 in the United States.

It will be Alonso's fourth successive year with McLaren and his fifth in total.

Fernando Alonso has signed a new contract to remain with McLaren next season after the switch from Honda power units to Renault engines convinced the two-time world champion to stay with the British team.

"Zak asked me (about) my ambitions and my plans for the future". They were in a changing situation with the power unit and then they chose to change to Renault.

"But something inside told me to stay at McLaren". I was thinking what was the best option for me for next year because I don't like too much being out of Q3, I don't like too much being out of the podium, so I said if that'll be the case next year maybe it is better to look outside F1 and to experience again the podium celebrations and those victory tastes.

"With the new McLaren deal for next year, I can confirm that I will not be in the Indy 500 next year, because there is Monaco Grand Prix at the same weekend and the priority next year will be to perform well in Formula 1", Alonso said.

"I took my time to really study everything that I could and we see in the last races that Red Bull were on the podium with both cars in Malaysia and Suzuka", Alonso added.

"They were not very serious [talks with other teams], but there were some".

With McLaren switching to Renault power next season, the double World Champion is looking forward to a brighter future. This is a fantastic team, full of incredible people, with a warmth and friendliness that I've never experienced elsewhere in Formula 1.

Alonso is hoping that the new McLaren-Renault partnership will yield better results than their tryst with Honda for the last three seasons.

With it, McLaren's driver lineup for 2018 will consist of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso.

"Our desire is that however long Fernando wants to keep driving, and whatever that is that he wants to keep driving, that's with McLaren".

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