McLaren Racing’s Zak Brown says they will discuss what work they can do together with Fernando Alonso as his ambassador contract ends this year.
Even though he made a departure from F1 just over a year ago, Alonso has yet to leave the rumour mill, as his name has been tied to drives up and down the paddock this year, at teams like Red Bull Racing, Mercedes, Renault and even Ferrari.
No rumour of the sort have turned out to be true as of yet, naturally, as he prepares for Dakar Rally in January with Toyota. He was present at Yas Marina with McLaren in Abu Dhabi GP, where he would have held some talks regarding his future.
When asked by FormulaRapida.net regarding Alonso and his future with McLaren, Brown stated that his ambassadorial contract ends this year and there will be more serious talks in the winter to decide what fits best for both the team and the driver.
“So his contract with us is up at the end of the year,” said Brown. “He’s obviously preparing for Dakar car next year. [At the same time] I’m very happy with our [current] two drivers, and I don’t foresee any changes there in the near future.”
Alonso has mentioned about a return to F1 in 2021 if things looks better for him, whether it is with McLaren or with any other team, it remains to be seen. But Brown seemingly ruled out making space for the Spaniard at the expense of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
“I am very happy with my two drivers, so I would think that we are going to continue further for the foreseeable future as we have got long-term plan for both our drivers, so I don’t think that would be an option [to replace them with Alonso if he returns],” he said.”
Outside of F1, however, Brown did acknowledge that Alonso may have a future with McLaren in their other motorsport projects down the line. They have a settled line-up for their IndyCar team but Indy500 remains an option along with other series.
“We’ve got an IndyCar team, he still has the desire to compete in the Indy 500,” said Brown. “We’re reviewing other racing activities, so we haven’t really kicked off any conversations in earnest, but we will in the winter.”
The two-time F1 champion has most recently raced in the WEC, and found plenty of success with Toyota. Along with Dakar, Indy500 and F1, he has one eye on the new hypercar category of WEC, where he may choose to return.
Here’s Fernando Alonso trying out Toyota’s touring car
Here’s how Fernando Alonso fared in his last rally in Saudi Arabia
This article is co-written by Duncan Leahy