Fernando Alonso’s partnership with McLaren is officially over after an ambassadorial deal expired at the end of 2019 and was not renewed.
The Spaniard opted to step away from Formula 1 at the end of 2018, taking on an ambassadorial role with McLaren while also competing for the team at last year’s Indianapolis 500. However, after failing to qualify for that race it appeared less likely that the partnership would be extended, and Alonso made increasingly sporadic appearances at races while the F1 team enjoyed a strong season.
“Fernando is a world-class competitor and we wish him well for the future,” a team spokesman told Reuters. “While our relationship has come to a natural conclusion, he will always remain part of the McLaren family.”
McLaren finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last season with new driver pairing Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, both of whom have longer-term contracts that underline their status as the team’s future.
Alonso – who raced in this year’s Dakar Rally for Toyota – is expected to attempt the Indy 500 again as he continues his quest to win the Triple Crown. While his seat is not yet confirmed, the Spaniard is in talks to drive for Andretti Autosport in May after leading a number of laps for the team on his debut at Indianapolis in 2017.
McLaren is returning to IndyCar in partnership with Schmidt Peterson this year, with the Arrow McLaren SP team also opting for youth in its line-up in the form of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew.