McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has confirmed the team will begin talks with Fernando Alonso at the end of the season over his future with the outfit.
The former two-time World Champion currently serves as an ambassador for McLaren having walked away from a race seat at the end of 2018. He’s also signed as a test driver and drove the MCL34 during testing in Bahrain.
Alonso partnered McLaren in its failed attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 back in May, but after winning the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship with Toyota alongside Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi, the Spaniard will continue his ventures away from McLaren when he debuts in the Dakar Rally with Toyota in January.
McLaren have now upped their involvement in IndyCar, linking up with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to form the Arrow McLaren Racing SP team for 2020.
They also continue to look at a route into the WEC, so with plenty of opportunities around, Brown confirmed that talks will begin with Alonso at the end of the year to decide where their relationship goes in the future.
“Well at the end of this year, we’ll have a conversation about what the future may or may not look like.” Brown told reporters at the United States GP as quoted by Crash.net.
“We’ve got an IndyCar team now, we continue to look at WEC.
“We’ve got Mika Hakkinen on a long-term contract as an ambassador, so I think we’ll sit down with Fernando at the end of the year and just talk about what does he want to do moving forward, what do we want to do moving forward, and is there something there working together that makes sense.”
So, could Alonso return to an F1 seat with McLaren? “No,” was the simple answer from Brown, but he’s keen to extend the working relationship between McLaren and Alonso.
Should McLaren opt to enter a third car into the Indy 500 in May then Alonso would be an option as he looks to complete the ‘triple crown of motorsport’ with victory.
“You know I think he’s an immense talent. I’ve got a really good relationship with him,” Brown explained.
“I think with the different racing activities that we’re doing, if there’s something that we have that makes sense to put Fernando in a car, I still think he’s one of the fastest drivers in the world.
“We’re set with our direction in Formula 1 with our current drivers, but depending on what the other activities are, very open minded to continuing a relationship with Fernando.”