McLaren have officially confirmed Fernando Alonso as an ambassador, which includes some on-track duties.
The retired two-time World Champion was back in the Formula 1 paddock on Tuesday at the Circuit de Catalunya, prompting speculation to rise once again about whether we will see him in the MCL34 this week at testing.
That will not be the case, but Alonso will be hopping in to the MCL34 to help with the development of the car this year and in 2020.
McLaren described Alonso’s role as a ‘wide-ranging agreement’ between the two parties, and ‘will stay closely connected to McLaren Racing activities, helping advise the team’s drivers and engineers’.
That includes driving the McLaren car at ‘selected tests’ throughout this year.
McLaren will continue its relationship with Fernando Alonso with the appointment of the two-time @F1 world champion as a McLaren Racing ambassador. 🤝
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) February 27, 2019
“Becoming a McLaren ambassador is a true honour,” Alonso said upon confirmation of his new role.
“It is a special team, and despite the challenges we have endured recently, it remains so.
“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.”
McLaren Racing chief executive, Zak Brown, added: “Fernando is part of the McLaren family.
“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 Häkkinen.
“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.”