Fernando Alonso continues to break conventions of Formula One.
Alonso will become F1’s only driver-sponsor starting in 2018, as McLaren has signed a multi-year deal with his surfing lifestyle brand, Kimoa. The Spaniard founded Kimoa in March 2017, and the clothing brand currently sells its products in more than 150 countries.
“As a double-world champion who has been racing in Formula One for 16 years, it can be tough to find new challenges in life,” Alonso said in a statement. “Founding Kimoa has given me that fresh start, and I’ve really enjoyed experiencing the adrenaline buzz and sensation of discovering something new for the very first time.”
Although it’s uncommon for racing drivers to sponsor their respective teams, Alonso and McLaren executive director Zak Brown haven’t strayed from going against the grain throughout 2017. And as was the case when they discussed the Indianapolis 500, Brown claims it was Alonso’s evident passion that made the partnership a no-brainer.
“Through all of my conversations with Fernando over the past year, I’ve seen just how committed he is to making Kimoa a success,” Brown said in a statement. “He regards this as an ambitious personal project that neatly complements his regular role as a grand prix driver.”
The buildup to F1’s season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday has been far from relaxing for Alonso. In addition to inking his Kimoa deal this week, Alonso completed an LMP1 test with Toyota Gazoo Racing, an LMP2 test with United Autosports and announced the formation of his esports team, FA Racing.