He’s back! Fernando Alonso will test the 2019 McLaren as part of new ‘ambassador’ role for the team.
The twice world champion who notably left the team last year to race in other series (and ultimately chase the triple crown), has confirmed he will drive at ‘selected tests to support the development of MCL34 and MCL35 for 2020’.
Two of the in season test day must be completed by rookie drivers who have not competed in more than two grands prix, but Alonso would be free to drive on either of the other two days.
The Spaniard said:
“I said before I stopped racing in Formula 1 last year that I see myself with McLaren for a long time to come, so I am delighted at this new role and the ability to stay closely involved with the team I feel is my spiritual home.
We have the Indianapolis 500 in May of course, which I am looking forward to immensely, but this is just the beginning of many things we can do together.
I am particularly passionate about nurturing young talent, whether that’s with my own team or helping the new generation of Formula 1 drivers at McLaren unlock their true potential.
This is important to both the team and myself, so will be an especially rewarding part of my role.”
As well as the McLaren-backed Indy 500 this year, he and his Toyota teammates are leading the WEC on points, after they won Le Mans last year, as well as winning Daytona with arguably one of the most loaded teams on the grid, consisting of Kobayashi, van der Zande and Jordan Taylor for Wayne Taylor Racing.
It seems McLaren really don’t want to let him go either, Zak Brown said:
“For any race team, having someone of Fernando’s class on hand to provide support through his experience is of huge value.
His insights and perspective will be welcomed by both our drivers and engineers alike, while his stature and character remain highly appealing to our partners and fans.”