F1's Alonso extends contract with Ferrari to 2016
Ferrari has extended Fernando Alonso's contract through the end of 2016 and the Spanish driver says he will finish his career with the Italian team.
''It is a great pleasure to have renewed our agreement with a driver who has always demonstrated a winning mentality even in the most difficult circumstances,'' Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said Thursday.
''Fernando has all the required qualities, both technically and personally to play a leading role in the history of Ferrari and I hope he will be enriching it with further wins very soon.''
Alonso joined Ferrari from Renault and nearly won the Formula One title last year in his first season with the Italian team. After a slow start to the year, he entered the final race leading the drivers' standings, but Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the title after a series of strategic errors by Ferrari.
Ferrari has also had a slow start this season. Alonso is fifth in the driver's standings and teammate Felipe Massa is sixth through four races.
Alonso's home Spanish Grand Prix is this weekend in Barcelona.
''I immediately felt comfortable within Ferrari and now it feels to me like a second family,'' Alonso said. ''I have the utmost faith in the men and women who work in Maranello and in those who lead them.
''It is therefore natural for me to decide to extend my relationship in the long term like this, with a team at which I will no doubt end my Formula One career one day.''