Fernando Alonso to stay at Aston Martin until 2026

Why a contract extension was a 'simple' decision for Fernando Alonso (1:18)

Nate Saunders analyses Fernando Alonso's decision to extend his contract with Aston Martin. (1:18)

Fernando Alonso has pledged his Formula One future to Aston Martin with a new multi-year deal, the team announced on Thursday.

In a confirmation appearing to imitate Michael Jordan's famous comeback announcement, a press release from the team had a quote from Alonso saying simply: "I am here to stay."

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Alonso, who is in his second season with the team, will now stay through to at least 2026, when F1 has a new set of regulations which could shake up the competitive order.

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll has invested heavily in the team with the goal of challenging for the world title and has secured Honda engines from the start of 2026.

Alonso's deal will likely have ramifications in the wider driver market.

The Spanish driver had been in the frame for a move to Mercedes to replace Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton, but the former world champions appear set on signing Italian teenager sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who is currently racing in F2 with Mercedes backing.

ESPN sources have said Carlos Sainz, who Hamilton is replacing at Ferrari, is closing in on a deal with Sauber. The Swiss team will become Audi in 2026 when the German manufacturer joins the sport.

Assuming Sainz does go to Sauber, Red Bull would likely extend Sergio Perez for another season. ESPN sources have said the reigning champions are keen to bring back Alex Albon after his Williams contract expires at the end of 2025.