Ferrari has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will leave the team at the end of the season.

As reported by Crash.net during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Alonso and Ferrari have agreed to end his contract two years early after a five year partnership. The double world champion will be replaced by Sebastian Vettel, who joins on a three-year deal.

Alonso said it was a tough decision to leave the team - where he feels he reached his "very best level" - but is looking ahead to a new challenge.

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"Today is not an easy one for me, because even if I always look to the future with great enthusiasm and determination, at the end of this season my journey as a Ferrari driver will come to an end," Alonso said. "It was a difficult decision to take, but a carefully considered one and from start to finish, my love for Ferrari was a prime consideration.

"I have always been lucky enough to make my own decisions about my future and I have that possibility now too. I must thank the team for that, as it understood my position. I leave Scuderia Ferrari after five years, during which I reached my very best level professionally, tackling major challenges that pushed me to find new limits.

"I also proved to be a true team-player, putting the interests of the Scuderia before my own. When I had to take important decisions about my future, I did so with Ferrari in my heart, driven by my love for the team. I am very proud of what we have achieved together. Thanks to the efforts of the men and women of Maranello, on three occasions we came second in the Formula 1 World Championship, two of them fighting for the title right up to and including the final race, running in a championship winning position for many laps.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, these five years produced some of the best moments of my career and I also feel that, in leaving the team, it is family rather than friends I am leaving behind. Now I look to the future with great enthusiasm, knowing that part of my heart will always belong to the Prancing Horse. I want to thank each and everyone of the team for the trust they showed in me."

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WEC Audi ? too old ? McLaren eh? Honda motor ?