Fernando Alonso has been named an ambassador of McLaren Racing and will test the team’s current Formula 1 car to aid development.
Despite retiring from F1 at the end of 2018, Alonso remains part of the McLaren set-up and will contest this year’s Indy 500 with the team. He has now been confirmed as a team ambassador, which will see him “drive at selected tests to support the development of MCL34 and MCL35 for 2020”.
Alonso says he wants to help the current driver line-up of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in his new role, and says he hopes to have a long-term future at McLaren.
“Becoming a McLaren ambassador is a true honor,” Alonso said. “It is a special team, and despite the challenges we have endured recently, it remains so. I said before I stopped racing in Formula 1 last year that I see myself with McLaren for a long time to come, so I am delighted at this new role and the ability to stay closely involved with the team I feel is my spiritual home.
“We have the Indianapolis 500 in May of course, which I am looking forward to immensely, but this is just the beginning of many things we can do together.
“I am particularly passionate about nurturing young talent, whether that’s with my own team or helping the new generation of Formula 1 drivers at McLaren unlock their true potential. This is important to both the team and myself, so will be an especially rewarding part of my role.”
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says Alonso brings benefits from both a sporting and commercial point of view, even after his decision to stop racing in F1.
“Fernando is part of the McLaren family,” Brown said. “He has set his place in the team’s history and continues to write his chapter of the McLaren story, so it is entirely appropriate that we formalize his status as a McLaren ambassador, joining another double champion, Mika Häkkinen.
“For any race team, having someone of Fernando’s class on hand to provide support through his experience is of huge value. His insights and perspective will be welcomed by both our drivers and engineers alike, while his stature and character remain highly appealing to our partners and fans.”