The tributes towards Fernando Alonso have been flooding in following the conclusion of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with next season due to be the first without the Spaniard since he started 17 years ago.
Widely seen as one of the greatest ever Formula 1 drivers, Alonso has earned the respect of the fans and his colleagues alike.
Amongst those colleagues are newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton, and Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel, who have had many battles against Alonso over the years, with Hamilton even being his teammate for McLaren over 10 years ago.
Hamilton was full of praise for the Spaniard following the final race of the campaign and paid tribute to his legacy.
“He’s a true legend," Hamilton started.
"It’s been a real honour and a privilege to race in a period of time where he has been racing.
“Before I even got to Formula 1 I was already watching him and admiring what he had achieved.
“I was asked all weekend ‘will you miss him’ and naturally I don’t really quite feel like I miss another driver ever, but the sport will miss him, we will miss him and I will definitely miss him being in the sport.”
Alonso, a two-time world championship winner in 2005 and 2006, has naturally endured a less fruitful end to his career, finishing 11th in his final season without a podium finish.
Vettel touched on this during his tribute to the great racer.
“I think the last years have been very tough for him, we’ve been missing him and we will miss him, so well done on his career,” Vettel concluded.
While Alonso has refused to rule out a return to Formula 1 in the future, this is likely to be the end for one of the greats and the tributes will continue to flood in as the curtains close on a wonderful career.
Alonso will now focus on his attempt to complete the Triple Crown.