|Alonso was on top of the world in 2010 before being overtaken by Vettel on the last day [AFP]
Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has extended his contract with Ferrari until the end of the 2016 season.
Spaniard Alonso, who won the drivers titles in 2005 and 2006 with Renault, finished runner-up to Sebastian Vettel in the last race of the season in 2010.
"I am very happy to have reached this agreement. I immediately felt comfortable within Ferrari and now it feels to me like a second family," he said of the Italian constructors on Thursday.
"I have the utmost faith in the men and women who work in Maranello and in those who lead them: it is therefore natural for me to decide to extend my relationship in the long term like this, with a team at which I will no doubt end my Formula One career one day."
Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo added: "It is a great pleasure to have renewed our agreement with a driver who has always demonstrated a winning mentality even in the most difficult circumstances.
"Fernando has all the required qualities, both technically and personally to play a leading role in the history of Ferrari and I hope he will be enriching it with further wins very soon."
After racing for Minardi, Renault, and McLaren, Alonso signed for Ferrari in 2010 and missed out on the title when he was overtaken by Vettel in the final Grand Prix of last season.
The 29-year-old, who has won 26 times in Formula One races, delivered Ferrari's first top-three finish in the fourth race of this season at the Turkish Grand Prix earlier this month.
He currently stands fifth in the drivers' standings on 41 points, 52 adrift of leader Vettel.