Just over an hour after it was officially announced by Scuderia Ferrari that Fernando Alonso was leaving the team at the end of this season, the Spaniard faced the press in the Yas Marina media centre, as part of the FIA Press Conference.
“This is a new chapter in my career,” he began. “It is time to find new projects and new motivations, but it was not an easy decision to make. Even last year, I had some doubts about 2014 and I decided to check how the new turbo era would go for Ferrari. I was very close to Luca di Montezemolo and we agreed that if we were not competitive I could think of other options. Then, in the summer break, I told the President I wanted to go. I have to thank Ferrari so much, because they could have said ‘no,’ as there were two years left on my contract. It’s a true sign of the respect and love I have for this team. I stop now as a Ferrari driver, but from Monday I become a Ferrari supporter! Time will tell if my decision is good or bad.”
“Being with Ferrari has been an amazing experience, with an amazing team and brand,” reflected Fernando. “Three times I came second in the championship and I’m extremely proud of that. Now it is time to close one door and open a new one. I am very proud of what we achieved with this amazing group of people and I have learned so much in five years. I am not the same driver as in 2009 when I arrived. I am better in all aspects of my driving skills.”
Fernando will be wearing a special helmet this weekend and he explained the meaning of the artwork: “On one side, it has a pit stop from this year, with the Italian flag in the middle and the signatures of everyone in the team on the other side. I told them I wanted to bring all of them with me to do my last race with them on the track. Actually, I took the signatures at Sochi, but when we got here there were 25 still missing, so the helmet does not look as perfect as it should, but they are all on it now. I am proud of them all.”