McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown plans to talk to Fernando Alonso about his future at the end of the season as the Spaniard approaches the end of his current contract.
Alonso has held an ambassadorial role with McLaren since stepping away from its F1 program at the end of 2018 which also included plans for him to drive in selected tests to help with development of both this year’s Formula 1 car and its 2020 design. The two-time F1 world champion also attempted to qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren but failed to do so, and has since been rallying with Toyota. Brown said there are no guarantees that McLaren’s partnership with Alonso will continue into 2020.
“He is under contract this year,” Brown said. “Not next year. At the end of this year, we’ll have a conversation about what the future may or may not look like. 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 working together that makes sense.”
Alonso has been linked with an Andretti seat at next year’s Indy 500, and while firm discussions are yet to take place about what Alonso might want to do with McLaren, Brown says there is no chance of an F1 return given how well the current line-up is performing.
“You know, I think he’s an immense talent. I’ve got a really good relationship with him, and I think with the different racing activities that we’re doing, if there’s something that we have that makes sense to put Fernando in a car, I still think he’s one of the fastest drivers in the world.
“We’re set with our direction in Formula 1 with our current drivers, but depending on what other activities are, very open-minded about continuing a relationship with Fernando.”