Alonso staying at Ferrari to 2016

Friday, 20 May 2011 00:13 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Fernando Alonso said he planned to see out his Formula One career at Ferrari after the Italian team announced on Thursday that they had extended the double world champion’s contract to the end of 2016.

The Spaniard, who won his titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, is in his second season with the sport’s oldest, most successful and glamorous team.

The 29-year-old won on his Ferrari debut in Bahrain last year and ended the season as runner-up to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel after taking the title battle down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.

“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,” said Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo in a statement ahead of Alonso’s home grand prix at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“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 is currently fifth overall, 52 points behind Vettel after four races.