LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will race for McLaren in the 2007 season, the team says.
The 24-year-old Spaniard became the youngest Formula One champion when he won the title with Renault this year, also helping the team to the constructors' title ahead of McLaren.
"We always make it clear that we want to be the best and the only way of achieving this objective is by attracting the best people, the best drivers...," McLaren team principal Ron Dennis said in a statement.
Alonso was quoted as saying: "To become part of a team with such a desire to succeed and passion for performance is a dream come true for any Formula One driver.
"Obviously I will be sad to leave Renault but sometimes possibilities come along which are just too good to miss."
The departure of Alonso, whose personal manager is Renault's team principal Flavio Briatore, will raise further questions about Renault's long term commitment to Formula One.
Finnish championship runner-up Kimi Raikkonen and Colombia's Juan Pablo Montoya will race for McLaren next season.
Raikkonen, however, is out of contract at the end of 2006 and has been coveted by Ferrari as a long-term replacement for seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.
"We are in discussions with our current drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya regarding the 2007 season," Dennis added.
"Both Juan Pablo and Kimi are extremely talented, professional and competitive Formula One drivers and they have and will continue to concentrate on our joint challenge for the championships."
It's cool. I supposed that last year. I had a <deal> with my friends, I said that Raikkonen will drive for Ferrari instead of Barichello, but I was wrong a little, he will replace Schumacher The Great!!!!!!! I am happy and sad =( But so it is, Michael is good, he is the best but new young racers keep coming, and they R the future.... Ferrari is a legendary team and can not admit to lose many times, they want back.... The only think I dislike is Massa, I don,t believe in his talent... My oppinion....
Schumacher and Raikkonen could become a great couple...
I like Massa very much, I think he is a much better pilot than Barrichello.
And I believe that he will have a nice chance to be the world champion after Schumacher retires. We all know that while MS is driving, no one else will be able to fight for the title driving a Ferrari.
But after he is out, I think Felipe will have a chance.
And don´t forget: he was invited by Ferrari to go back to the team and drive in 2006. He was a test driver, than was borrowed by Minardi, and he always did a good job, so the Scuderia invited him back.
Ferrari would never invite someone like that if the guy wasn´t a very good pilot!
I think U are right! Ferrari would never invite a racer if he is not good for a champion. For example Luca Badoer is Test-Pilot for very long time, and Ferrari never get him Pilot status, because he is good, but not enough for a F1 racer in Scuderia. I think too that Massa is very good, but if Raikkonen will come in Ferrari instead Schumacher, I think he will be No1 in team, not Massa. But it is just my oppinion. Even if Raikkonen was an opponent for Ferrari, I always respect him, also like Hakkinen, because he was a Professional, Sportman and a Fairplayng Racer. I respect fairplay and top concurence. And I do not like such a recers like Montoya, wich are using everything, even dirty plays, for winning something. I like Raikkonen, and I was very satisfied when I rad about his contract with Ferrari.
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