Brown: I’d need three cars for Alonso return

Jamie Woodhouse
Fernando Alonso regrets "GP2 engine" comments, but feels justified.

Fernando Alonso regrets "GP2 engine" comments, but feels justified.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown joked he would need a third car if Fernando Alonso wanted to return to Formula 1.

The Spaniard left the series at the end of 2018 to pursue other interests, including his unsuccessful Indy 500 venture alongside McLaren.

However, back in Formula 1 the Woking outfit’s new line-up of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are delivering the goods.

British rookie Norris hoovered up the points early on as team-mate Sainz suffered from a rotten run of bad luck, but the Spaniard has returned with a vengeance in recent races, including a P6 finish in Monaco.

All this has left Sainz best-of-the-rest P7 in the Drivers’ Championship, while McLaren boast that spot in the Constructors’ Championship with P4.

Such is his confidence in the duo, Brown said he would need to ask Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey for permission to run a third car if Alonso wanted to make a comeback.

“Then I first have to ask Chase Carey if I can use three cars,” Brown told Auto Motor und Sport when quizzed about an Alonso return.

“We have long-term contracts with our current drivers [Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz] and are also very satisfied with them.

“Fortunately, Fernando has not yet called. There are currently no cockpits available.

“Our current drivers have done super well so far. They have achieved Q3 in fifty percent of the cases and give us good feedback.

“Moreover, they get along well, so I don’t have to worry about fear when they fight each other.”

A double-points finish in Canada for Renault, while McLaren departed empty-handed has eliminated the 13-point buffer which McLaren enjoyed in P4.

The French manufacturer are now only two points behind their rivals, but Brown believes his team are overperforming anyway.

“The team is performing great, that’s why we are fourth. We don’t have the fourth car, but rather the sixth,” he explained.

“But thanks to our good pit stops, the strategy and of course our drivers, we are now doing well.

“Moreover, other teams have helped us with mistakes. Anyway, our F1 team has certainly taken a step forward.”

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