Fernando Alonso is leaving Ferrari at the end of this season, the company’s former president Luca Di Montezemolo has confirmed.
Alonso’s departure is an open secret in Formula 1 but the team have not yet announced it, nor their decision to replace him with Sebastian Vettel.
Di Montezemolo told Italian television: “Fernando is leaving for two reasons.
“One, he wants another environment. Two, because he is an age when he cannot wait to win again.”
Alonso, 33, asked Di Montezemolo in the summer to be released from his contract, after losing faith that Ferrari could produce a winning car in the near future.
The Spaniard has been with Ferrari since 2010, and has finished runner-up in the world championship to Red Bull’s Vettel three times in the last four years. He lost out in the final race in both 2010 and 2012.
Di Montezemolo, who was speaking on a television show looking back on his 23 years with Ferrari, said: “He was disappointed that he has not won over these last years and wanted new stimulus.”
Alonso is deciding between joining McLaren, who have made him a huge offer to lead their team into their new engine partnership with Honda next season, or taking a year off in the hope of finding a seat at Mercedes in 2016.
The two-time world champion said at the Russian Grand Prix at the weekend that his choice would be “obvious” when it was announced.
He said he did not think he would be using a Mercedes engine in 2015, and added that there was “probably not a big risk” of him not being in F1 next year.
Di Montezemolo this week officially left his role as president of Ferrari, which he has held since 1991.
He has been replaced by Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive officer of parent company Fiat.