Fernando Alonso to remain at McLaren for 2018

McLaren has confirmed Fernando Alonso will remain at the team for the 2018 Formula One season.

Next season will mark Alonso's fourth consecutive season with the Woking squad -- having joined from Ferrari at the end of 2014. The Spaniard's second spell at McLaren has been largely unsuccessful having failed to finish on the podium in the last three seasons.

McLaren's choice to move to Renault power, ending its current deal with Honda, ultimately proved to be the decisive factor in Alonso remaining with McLaren.

"It's fantastic to be able to continue my relationship with everybody at McLaren. It was always where my heart was telling me to stay, and I really feel at home here. This is a fantastic team, full of incredible people, with a warmth and friendliness that I've never experienced elsewhere in Formula 1. I'm incredibly happy to be racing here,'' Alonso said.

"Just as important, McLaren has the technical resource and financial strength to be able to very quickly win races and world championships in F1. Although the last few years have not been easy, we have never forgot-ten how to win, and I believe we can achieve that again soon.

"The last three years have given us the momentum to plan and build for the future, and I'm looking forward to that journey. I'm excited for our future together - and I'm already working hard to make it a success."

McLaren's racing director Eric Boullier believes the team's driver line-up for 2018 of Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne is the strongest on the current F1 grid.

"With Fernando, you really can't ask for a better driver to deliver a result for you on a Sunday afternoon - and I think everybody in Formula 1 would acknowledge that sentiment. He's always been clear to me that this is a team he loves, and that his heart has always been set on staying.

"Today's announcement shows that he's fully committed to racing and winning as a McLaren driver, and, while we've often shared his frustrations over the past few years, we now feel that we can deliver on our promise to give him a competitive car next season. Consistency of driver line-up is one of those small but essential elements that really helps a team to maintain momentum, and, with Fernando and Stoffel, we're lucky to be writing a fresh chapter with what we believe to be the best driver line-up in Formula 1."