ABU DHABI – Scuderia Ferrari has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will be leaving the team at the end of the 2014 Formula 1 season.
Since joining in 2010, Alonso has finished as the runner-up in the drivers’ championship on three occasions, coming close to the title in 2010 and 2012 before losing out at the final race of the year.
2014 has seen the relationship between the driver and the team sour, with Alonso growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of success attained due to problems with the cars coming out of Maranello.
Here is the statement from Ferrari:
“Scuderia Ferrari and Fernando Alonso announce that, by common consent, they have ended their relationship.
“Fernando Alonso leaves the team at the end of this season, after a five-year period which, with one race remaining, saw him score 1186 points, 44 podiums and 11 wins.
“Everyone at Scuderia Ferrari thanks Fernando for his great contribution on both a personal and professional level.”
Sebastian Vettel has since been confirmed as Alonso’s replacement at Ferrari for 2015, partnering Kimi Raikkonen.
Alonso is set to return to McLaren for 2015, having spent one controversial year at Woking in 2007, but confirmed his departure in a joint statement with the team.
“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,” Alonso said.
“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 1 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 and 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.”
Alonso’s arrival at Ferrari in 2010 was supposed to take both the driver and the team back to their glory days, but the partnership has instead been one full of unfulfilled potential and possibilities. Few would have predicted the rapid decline in relations between the team and the driver, but even fewer would have expected him to leave the team without the elusive third world title that he so craves.