Double world champion Fernando Alonso will not race in Formula 1 next season.
The 37-year-old Spaniard won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, and has finished runner-up in the championship on three occasions. In total, he has so far taken 32 wins, 22 pole positions and 97 podiums. Alonso has driven for McLaren since 2015, but has failed to score a podium during his time there.
“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on,” said Alonso, who confirmed that he will complete this season.
Alonso’s decision follows increasing frustration with his inability to land a car capable of winning races. With no seat available at Mercedes or Ferrari, Alonso’s best hopes of a competitive car lay with Red Bull or the works Renault team.
Daniel Ricciardo’s surprise switch from Red Bull to Renault ended Alonso’s chances with the French firm, while Red Bull bosses indicated that they will promote one of their junior drivers rather than consider Alonso.
While he won’t race in F1 next year, Alonso is unlikely to retire, saying that "new, exciting challenges are around the corner". He is committed to completing the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship ‘super season’ with the works Toyota team, having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with that squad this year.