Renault's F1 world champion Fernando Alonso will leave the team in 2007 to race for McLaren after accepting an offer "too good to miss".

Renault's F1 world champion Fernando Alonso will leave the team in 2007 to race for McLaren after accepting an offer "too good to miss".

The Brackley-based team has made its announcement just days after revealing that it will by backed by telecommunications giant, Vodafone, from 2007. Vodafone withdrew its multibillion rand deal with Ferrari this year after the former world champion's continued run of bad performances.

The Alonso announcement also means that either Kimi Raikkonen or Juan Pablo Montoya, currently contracted as McLaren drivers, will not be with the team after the next season. Team boss Ron Dennis said he had begun talks with both drivers who will effectively be racing for their jobs in 2006.

Dennis said: "Our aim for next year remains absolutely clear to everybody within the team - we want to win races and be in a position where we might have two Formula One world champions driving for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in 2007."

Alonso's seven Grand Prix wins helped him towards being crowned the youngest F1 drivers' champion yet, while Renault also broke the Ferrari and Michael Schumacher stronghold by taking the constructor's title.

Alonso said: "To become part of a team with such a desire to succeed and passion for performance is a dream come true for any F1 driver. It will be a new beginning for me and a tremendous challenge and from what I have heard about this exciting new partnership there is something to look forward to.

"Obviously I will be sad to leave Renault but sometimes possibilities come along which are just too good to miss. I'm pleased that we are able to make this announcement now as it will allow my current team and I to focus 100 per cent on defending the world championships next year."