'Dear F1': Fernando Alonso Retires From Racing

The 37-year-old has called time on his 17 year career.

Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has confirmed he will retire at the end of the 2018 season.

The 37-year-old reflected on a 17 year career and serenaded the sport he loves in an emotional video posted to social media, captioned simply "Dear F1".

"We have some very good times, some unforgettable, others really bad," he said.

"Every time I close the visor of my helmet, I feel your warm embrace, your energy -- there is nothing like it.

"This year, while I am still driving at my best, is how I want to remember you."

Alonso made this decision months ago, and hasn't been swayed despite the best efforts of those around him he said in statement.

“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," he said.

Alsono has been with the McLaren Racing Team, and has had time to prepare for this announcement, said CEO Zak Brown.

“There is a time for everyone to make a change and Fernando has decided the end of this season to be his," he said.

"We respect his decision, even if we believe he is in the finest form of his career. Our open dialogue with Fernando has meant we could plan for this eventuality."

Fernando Alonso celebrates winning his maiden F1 World Champion title in 2005. Image: Getty Images

Alonso became the then-youngest ever F1 world champ in 2005, and went- back-to-back in 2006.

Over his career he has had 32 race wins and 97 podium finishes, but will be looking to add to that tally in his remaining nine Grand Prix races.