11 December 2014
F1: Alonso returns to McLaren to emulate Senna
Fernando Alonso says he is returning to McLaren to be able to follow in the footsteps of his “idol” Ayrton Senna, and says he is willing to wait for success with the team
Fernando Alonso says he is returning to McLaren to be able to follow in the footsteps of his “idol” Ayrton Senna.
Honda returns as engine supplier to McLaren in 2015, rekindling a partnership that powered Senna to his three world championships with the team. Having left Ferrari to re-join McLaren – where he spent one tumultuous season in 2007 – Alonso said the driving force behind the move was being able to drive a McLaren-Honda just as Senna did.
“I have never hidden my deep admiration for Ayrton Senna, my favourite driver, my idol on track, my reference,” Alonso said.
“I still remember, as a kid, the posters in my wardrobe, my toy cars in which I dreamed I would one day emulate Ayrton, and the kart that my father built for my older sister, and that I ended up falling in love with. That kart had the livery of one of the most legendary partnerships in the history of Formula 1, McLaren-Honda, the car that Ayrton drove, the same partnership to which I am now honoured to join, to take part in the next Formula 1 world championship.”
Despite now being 33, Alonso said it is “no problem” that the new partnership with Honda could take time to deliver results for McLaren.
“I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me.
“Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest. But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long.
“McLaren-Honda's repeated and open desire, perseverance and determination in making it possible for me to join their exciting renewed partnership, have been some of the main factors that made me take this decision, not forgetting the most important factor of all: we share a common objective and expectations, and there is a very solid future, with confidence, ahead.
“I have had in-depth discussions with all the senior people at both McLaren and Honda, I have viewed their fantastic facilities in both the UK and Japan, and it is clear to me that, together, McLaren and Honda are in the process of beginning what is sure to be a long and successful partnership. And I intend to give 100% effort to help make it exactly that.
“Finally, I want to thank the persistence of those who have fought so hard for this to come true. I will do everything in my power to deliver for everyone and for our team, based on a formula that has always worked for me: effort, sacrifice, perseverance and faith.
“We have time, we have hopes and we have the necessary resources. Let the legend return: that is our challenge.”
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