McLaren want Alonso deal, but not in F1

Zak Brown wants to keep Fernando Alonso under the McLaren umbrella, but has ruled out the prospect of him returning with the team to Formula 1.

McLaren were the first team to confirm its 2020 line-up, sticking with the combination of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris which has led them to a likely fourth-place finish in the constructors’ championship.

Alonso has tackled the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren since leaving F1, but will not form part of the team’s IndyCar line-up as it returns to the American series in 2020.

The following year will see a new batch of regulations come into play in F1, something that Alonso has said could tempt him back, but Brown says that will not be with McLaren.

“At the end of the this year we’ll have a conversation about what the future may or may not look like,” Brown said.

“We’ve got an IndyCar team now. We continue to look at WEC. We’ve got Mika Hakkinen on a long-term contract as an ambassador.

“So I think we’ll sit down with Fernando at the end of the year and just talk about what does he want to do moving forward, what do we want to do moving forward and is there something there that working together makes make sense?

“I think he’s an immense talent. Obviously, I’ve got a really good relationship with him and I think with the different racing activities that we’re doing, if there is something that we have that makes sense, to put Fernando in a car, I still think he is one of the fastest drivers in the world.

“We’re set with our direction on Formula 1 with our current drivers. But depending on what our other activities are, very open minded to continuing a relationship with Fernando.”