Fernando Alonso to leave Formula One at the end of the season

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Fernando Alonso has announced that he will leave McLaren and “move on” from Formula One at the end of the season.

Alonso, a two-time world champion, is currently racing in his 17th season in F1 and has promised to finish the 2018 championship with “more commitment and passion than ever”.

The 37-year-old Spaniard says “new exciting challenges are around the corner” and is expected to make a full-time switch to the Indy Car series.

Alonso said in a statement: “After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport, it’s time for me to make a change and move on. I have enjoyed every single minute of those incredible seasons and I cannot thank enough the people who have contributed to make them all so special.

“There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever.

“Let’s see what the future brings; new exciting challenges are around the corner. I’m having one of the happiest times ever in my life but I need to go on exploring new adventures.”

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Who needs to improve in qualifying ahead of the second half of the F1 season?

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Lewis Hamilton holds a 24-point championship lead heading into the second half of the season.

The Mercedes scored back-to-back wins in Germany and Hungary to stretch his advantage ahead of rival Sebastian Vettel with nine races remaining.

Here, we assess the qualifying head-to-head at each team.

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton 7-5 Valtteri Bottas

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel 10-2 Kimi Raikkonen

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo 2-9 Max Verstappen*

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg 7-5 Carlos Sainz

Haas: Kevin Magnussen 8-3 Romain Grosjean*

Force India: Sergio Perez 3-9 Esteban Ocon

McLaren: Fernando Alonso 12-0 Stoffel Vandoorne

Toro Rosso: Pierre Gasly 7-3 Brendon Hartley**

Sauber: Marcus Ericsson 3-9 Charles Leclerc

Williams: Lance Stroll 5-7 Sergey Sirotkin

* Missed 1 Qualifying session
**Missed 2 Qualifying sessions

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The numbers behind the Formula One 2018 season so far

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Lewis Hamilton holds a 24-point championship lead heading into the second half of the season.

The Mercedes scored back-to-back wins in Germany and Hungary to stretch his advantage ahead of rival Sebastian Vettel with nine races remaining.

Here, we assess the key stats at the mid-season break.

Who has the most race wins?

Lewis Hamilton – 5 (Baku, Barcelona, France, Germany, Hungary)

Sebastian Vettel – 4 (Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Silverstone)

Daniel Ricciardo – 2 (China, Monaco)

Max Verstappen – 1 (Austria)

Who has the most podium finishes?

Lewis Hamilton – 9 (Australia, Bahrain, Baku, Spain, Monaco, France, Silverstone, Germany, Hungary)

Kimi Raikkonen – 8 (Australia, China, Baku, France, Austria, Silverstone, Germany, Hungary)

Sebastian Vettel – 7 (Australia, Bahrain, Monaco, Canada, Austria, Silverstone, Hungary)

Valtteri Bottas – 5 (Bahrain, China, Spain, Canada, Germany)

Max Verstappen – 4 (Spain, Canada, France, Austria)

Daniel Ricciardo – 2 (China, Monaco)

Sergio Perez – 1 (Baku)

Who has retired from most races?

Brendon Hartley – 5 (China, Monaco, Canada, Austria, Silverstone)

Daniel Ricciardo – 4 (Bahrain, Baku, Austria, Germany)

Romain Grosjean – 4 (Australia, Baku, Spain, Silverstone)

Max Verstappen – 4 (Bahrain, Baku, Silverstone, Hungary)

Fernando Alonso – 4 (Monaco, Canada, France, Germany)

Who has started on pole most often?

Sebastian Vettel – 5 (Bahrain, China, Baku, Canada, Germany)

Lewis Hamilton – 5 (Australia, Spain, France, Silverstone, Hungary)

Daniel Ricciardo – 1 (Monaco)

Valtteri Bottas – 1 (Austria)

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