Alonso Set to Test For McLaren This Year

Alonso to test McLaren.jpg

Fernando Alonso and McLaren have confirmed the Spanish driver will test for the team this year, as part of Alonso's new Brand Ambassador role with the outfit.

Alonso walked away from Formula One racing after 17 seasons and two World Championships at the end of the 2018 season, however the 38-year-old Spanish driver has retained close links with his former team in both Formula One and other categories of racing, a relationship that team and driver have confirmed will lead to outings in the 2019 car during the course of the current season.

“As part of the continued relationship, Fernando will stay closely connected to McLaren Racing activities, helping advise the team’s drivers and engineers. He will also drive at selected tests to support the development of MCL34 and MCL35 for 2020.” said McLaren in a statement at Barcelona.
As for Alonso, the 2005 and 2006 World Champion believes his experience with the team and sport can only benefit the squad in the years ahead.

“I think first of all this car we are running today was born in June last year when we identified our problems, our weaknesses, our philosophies that were wrong with the 2018 car and we started discussing and having meetings plus simulator work for the 2019 car,” explained Alonso​

“Now, the 2019 car is a reality and it is running on track. Probably some of the results that they are having they don’t know the background of those changes or that philosophy that is behind that design so I think that is something that I can give my input on.

“Also, after 18 years I probably know most of the circuits, most of the tricks here and there and hopefully, especially with Lando [Norris] being in his first year, anything that may appear on a Grand Prix weekend, Saturday or Sunday morning, maybe having a driver behind the engineers thinking probably helps.

“They only see the telemetry, they analyse and make decisions looking at the telemetry. I can be the link of what they see on the data and to what the driver is feeling or what the message the driver is passing through the radio. Hopefully, I can help as much as I can.”

McLaren have confirmed Alonso will get seat time in the new car during the course of the year, however it is thought that the Spaniard will not be taking part in pre-season testing, leaving as much time as possible for current drivers Sainz and Norris to become acclimatised to the team.

“Fernando is part of the McLaren family,” said Zak Brown, McLaren Racing’s Chief Executive Officer. “He has set his place in the team’s history and continues to write his chapter of the McLaren story, so it is entirely appropriate that we formalise his status as a McLaren ambassador, joining another double champion, Mika Hakkinen.

“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.”
It is not clear exactly when Alonso will get a chance to drive the new car, with the two in-season test sessions expected to be the most likely candidates to see the former double World Champion return to the circuit.

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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.
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John Addison

Nov 4, 2012
Alonso...the Mark Martin of F1:sneaky:

Terry Rock

Oct 24, 2009
The only point I can see to all of this, is if he was contracted to help develop the car throughout the season. As it stands now, he looks to be a bit busy with other duties to be fully committed. Why not open that seat time to their junior/reserve drivers? That seems more logical for team-building.
Nothing against Alonso...just future planning.