McLaren CEO Zak Brown has expressed Fernando Alonso is “very open” to testing the 2019 car at some point throughout next year despite taking a sabbatical from the team this season.
Brown and Alonso remain in close quarters as the duo attempt the Indianapolis 500 again running with a single-car McLaren wildcard entry next May.
Both 2019 McLaren drivers in Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are also keen to receive guidance from the two-time world champion with 17 years of Formula 1 experience.
“I have spoken to Fernando about it. He is very open to it,” hinted Brown, speaking to a British publication.
“These F1 world champions, whether it’s Michael Schumacher or Mika Hakkinen, who came close to a comeback, don’t want to be too far from the F1 pit lane.
“There’s a lot he can contribute experience-wise. Carlos and Lando are open to any ideas that will bring us experience. Fernando knows the team very well, Lando doesn’t have that experience, and Carlos doesn’t have that experience with us.
“It’s something I’ll be talking to him about. I’ll go to Daytona for Fernando’s Daytona testing [in April] and we’re going to chat to him further then.”
Fernando Alonso already has big racing plans for 2019, contesting the Daytona 24 Hour in January plus finishing off his first season of the World Endurance Championship with Toyota including another run in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Formula 1 teams have four days of testing throughout the season where Fernando may participate, however, a young driver must be selected for two of the in-season test days, a role which Lando Norris has filled for the past two years.
McLaren also has upcoming talents Nick de Vries and Sergio Sette Camara at their disposal, both of which will be racing in Formula 2 next season.
Images via McLaren