Ferrari have finally confirmed that Fernando Alonso is to leave the team at the end of the 2014 season.
It has been an open secret in the Formula 1 paddock since the Japanese Grand Prix at the start of October that the two-time World Champion will quit the Italian stable after five seasons.
Both parties, though, refused to comment on the reports, but the team’s official Twitter page made it official on Thursday, just days before the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
“Official: after 5 years, 1186 points, 44 podiums and 11 wins @alo_oficial will leave @ScuderiaFerrari! #FerrariFamily #GrazieFernando”, the tweet read.
Alonso is yet to confirm his next team, but it is widely believed McLaren will announce his signing at the start of December.
“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,” the Spaniard 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.
“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.”