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Fernando Alonso, 37, Spanish two-time world champion has announced he is to retire from Formula 1 at the end of the 2018 season. He is competing in his 17th F1 season, won the 2005 and 2006 championships when racing for Renault.

“After 17 wonderful years in this amazing sport it’s time for me to make a change and move on,” he said.

The McLaren driver will end a career that began with a debut for Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix of 2001.

“I made this decision some months ago and it was a firm one. There are still several grands prix to go this season, and I will take part in them with more commitment and passion than ever,” he added.

“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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