Two-time champion Fernando Alonso has scored a contract extension with Ferrari. He joined the Maranello outfit last year and has a deal to stay till the end of the 2012 season, but this fresh four-year deal will see him race for the Scuderia till 2016.

The Spaniard did well to stay in the championship hunt till the final race last year, despite his red machine not being the most dominant. It didn’t work out in Abu Dhabi, so the ex-Renault man finished second in the championship.

“It is a great pleasure to have renewed our agreement with a driver who has always demonstrated a winning mentality even in the most difficult circumstances.

“Fernando has all the required qualities, both technically and personally to play a leading role in the history of Ferrari and I hope he will be enriching it with further wins very soon,” said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.

Alonso on the other hand, has never hid his love for the Scuderia, and used this occasion to underline his commitment. “I am very happy to have reached this agreement. I immediately felt comfortable within Ferrari and now it feels to me like a second family,” he declared.

“I have the utmost faith in the men and women who work in Maranello and in those who lead them: it is therefore natural for me to decide to extend my relationship in the long term like this, with a team at which I will no doubt end my Formula 1 career one day.

“I am happy and privileged, and maybe in 2017 we will have another contract. I will see if I am not too old and if Ferrari still want me,” he added.