Fernando Alonso has confirmed he will contest the 2018 Formula 1 season for McLaren, ending speculation that he will leave the team after a frustrating number of races. The two-time world champion has been tipped to re-sign with the Woking race team following the announcement that McLaren will switch from Honda to Renault power next year.

“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,” said Alonso.

“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 forgotten how to win, and I believe we can achieve that again soon,” he added. Alonso will again race alongside current teammate Stoffel Vandoorne for the 2018 season.

Next year will mark Alonso’s fourth successive season with McLaren since he joined in 2015, and his fifth in total with a stint in 2007. The Spaniard has yet to place better than fifth in Honda-powered machinery, and has been pretty vocal about performance and reliability issues.

“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,” Alonso noted.

“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,” commented Eric Boullier, racing director at McLaren.

“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,” he added.