ABU DHABI — As Formula One prepares to celebrate the final race of Fernando Alonso’s career, the man himself is already talking about a comeback.
In August this year Alonso announced he would leave F1 at the end of the season to allow him to pursue other interests, including the Indy 500 and an overall victory in the World Endurance Championship.
A number of tributes have been paid to the double world champion in Abu Dhabi this weekend to mark his final race, including a one-off livery on his McLaren, a paddock barbeque on Saturday night and the Yas Marina driver briefing room being painted in an Alonso-themed mural and named in his honour. However, after stepping out of his car having qualified 15th on the grid for Sunday’s race, Alonso suggested he could return to F1 after just a single year away.
“I think next year I needed a break and I needed to find again motivation, to relax a little bit — it’s been a busy year,” he said. “But in 2020 I’m open for different things. Maybe a full season in IndyCar, a full season in Formula One again. You know there are things that are in the view.”
Asked if he might be back in Formula One as early as 2019 pre-season testing to help McLaren develop its new car, Alonso added: “I don’t know exactly what I will do next year, what the implication or the role will be. My full focus is on the Indy 500 next year and as part of McLaren family and the McLaren team.
“If somehow I can also help McLaren in F1 with experience that I have from many years here I will be more than happy but it’s more a question for Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] probably than me.”