Published: Sun, March 31, 2019
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Alonso set to test for McLaren in Bahrain

Alonso set to test for McLaren in Bahrain

Alonso insists he is not missing F1 despite testing just two races after leaving, saying the focus is on helping McLaren in any way he can.

Just four months after turning his back on Formula One, Fernando Alonso will return to the wheel of a contemporary McLaren F1 vehicle on Tuesday as he takes part in a tyre test with the team in Bahrain.

He will be driving the MCL34, but his programme will be dictated by Pirelli, as the running is part of McLaren's duties to support the Italian company's tyre development.

Although once again hinting that a front-running auto could tempt him back, Alonso says his future plans do not now have a full-time F1 return in them.

Alonso will have his first taste of a 2019 F1 auto next week when he joins McLaren for the post-Bahrain Grand Prix Pirelli tyre test.

"When I said goodbye, it was because I achieved what I wanted to in formula one". He will also race for the team at Indianapolis 500 where a win will see him complete the triple crown. Coming back is not in the plan but if something happened and a great opportunity arrived, I would consider. "I never close any doors", he added.

Nevertheless, Sainz was happy with how his Qualifying session went about, and for the first time in 2019 both McLaren drivers made it into the top ten shootout - Lando Norris joined Sainz in Q3 - which he feels the team should be proud about. I think the team decided this was the best moment and not taking time from the race drivers to develop the auto.

"As I said a year ago, and in Barcelona [testing] as well, my idea is not to come back", Alonso said. "Being involved a little bit from previous year in the development in the auto is useful for the team, so I hope it's a productive test".

"Maybe if I was relaxing at home maybe it was different but I have been testing and preparing different things so there is not much time to miss anything".

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