McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, seemed overly optimistic of the possibility of Fernando Alonso testing the team’s 2019 car sometime this season. He left F1 at the end of last season but is still part of the McLaren family and will be driving for them in the Indy 500 this year.
When quizzed about the chances of getting Alonso to provide valuable inputs on its 2019 challenger, Brown said the Spaniard was ‘open’ to the idea. “I have spoken to Fernando about it. He is very open to it,” he said.
Interference from someone who has already gone from the team may not sit well with the team’s current drivers but Brown dispelled those fears by claiming that both Norris and Sainz would welcome Alonso, if he did want to test the car.
“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,” said Brown.
The CEO revealed that the details had not been thrashed out yet and that he would have another round of discussions with his former driver. “I’ll go to Daytona for Fernando’s Daytona testing and we’re going to chat to him further then,” he said.
Brown also discussed the possibility of not having Alonso at all, in case it may hamper the development of their young drivers from the programme. The decision ultimately lies in the hands of technical director, Gil de Ferran, he concluded.