Alonso plans pit wall role and possible practice runs for McLaren in 2019 | 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso will remain closely involved with McLaren’s Formula 1 team despite stepping down from his race seat in 2019.

RaceFans understands Alonso will have a role on the team’s pit wall and will take part in race weekend debriefs with its new driver line-up of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Alonso will race in the Indianapolis 500 for McLaren next year and as well as three further World Endurance Championship races, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. He has indicated he will compete in other races next year as well.

However Alonso said yesterday he could take up the chance to drive the team’s F1 car during race weekends. “Maybe I can do some FP1s like the rookie drivers,” he said.

The 37-year-old hasn’t ruled out returning to an F1 race seat in the future and he said McLaren Group CEO Zak Brown wants to keep him closely involved with the grand prix team.

“We are talking,” said Alonso. “I know Zak wants me to be close to the team somehow. I’m part of McLaren next year with the Indy 500. If I can help the team in any way I will be more than happy.”

Alonso said on Thursday he could consider a return after 2019. “I don’t know what the future will bring,” he said. “Definitely now I’m concentrating on the personal challenges, the triple crown and some other races that I will add next year.

“For 2020 I don’t know exactly what I will do, or what will be the plan. Further away, it’s impossible to think – but yeah, who knows? Life is long and beautiful. I like Formula One. I will always love Formula One.”

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