Motor racing-Alonso extends Aston Martin contract

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan - April 5, 2024 Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso before practice REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

(Reuters) - Fernando Alonso has signed a new contract with Aston Martin, the Formula One team said on Thursday.

The deal tied Spaniard Alonso, 42, to Aston Martin for at least the next two seasons.

"There has been much said and written about my future in Formula One in the past few months, but today I'm delighted to announce that I'm here to stay with Aston Martin Aramco in a multi-year agreement," Alonso said.

"I said at the start of the year that I would decide if I wanted to continue racing first and then sit down with the team.

"From the moment I joined the team in 2023 I felt extremely at home. In just over 15 months we have already achieved so much together, with some memorable podiums and battles."

Alonso, twice Formula One world champion, moved to Aston Martin for the 2023 season from Alpine and secured six podium finishes in the first eight races for his new team.

"This multi-year agreement with Fernando takes us into 2026 when we begin our works power unit partnership with Honda," Team Principal Mike Krack added in a statement.

"Securing Fernando's long-term future with Aston Martin Aramco is fantastic news. We have built a strong working relationship over the last 18 months and we share the same determination to see this project succeed.

"We have been in constant dialogue over the last few months and Fernando has been true to his word: when he decided he wanted to continue racing, he talked to us first. Fernando has shown he believes in us, and we believe in him."

Alonso secured his 100th podium by finishing third at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, becoming one of only six Formula One drivers to achieve the feat.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk, editing by Ed Osmond)

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