Alonso makes surprise F1 return in Bahrain

The Spaniard had waved goodbye to his career as an official F1 driver at the Yas Marina on Sunday night, with one of his final major commitments for McLaren this year being a promotional day with seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson in Bahrain.

Alonso is scheduled to drive Johnson’s NASCAR car, while Johnson will get his first Formula 1 test in a 2013 Mercedes-powered McLaren.

The plan had not originally included a run in the F1 car for Alonso, but following a last-minute request from the Spaniard, he asked to be able to conduct a quick run in the V8-engined car.

Alonso completed several laps to set a baseline for Johnson, with their official car swaps due to take place later.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren

Photo by: Jon Noble