Alonso not ruling out 2020 Formula 1 return

Bahraini refugee Hakeem al Araibi arrives back in Melbourne after being held in Thailand against his will
SCOTT BARBOUR GETTY IMAGESBahraini refugee Hakeem al Araibi arrives back in Melbourne after being held in Thailand against his will

31 March, 2019

F1's tight testing regulations mean that at least two of this year's four in-season test days must be completed by a driver with less than three races' experience.

Two-times Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will test with McLaren in Bahrain next week after Sunday's Grand Prix, his first time in an F1 vehicle for five months, the team said on Thursday. Alonso will get his hands on the MCL34 in a Pirelli tyre test the first of his planned test outings this season in a new ambassadorial role.

But he has switched his post-F1 racing career focus to attempting to complete his triple crown bid with victory at the Indianapolis 500, as well as his Toyota World Endurance Championship campaign.

"I am stopping Formula One because there are other bigger challenges outside Formula One than the ones I can see here".

Although once again hinting that a front-running vehicle could tempt him back, Alonso says his future plans do not now have a full-time F1 return in them.

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"I had great opportunities outside F1 to do something unprecedented so that's why I took the decision". Coming back is not in the plan but if something happened and a great opportunity arrived, I would consider.

Nevertheless, Sainz was happy with how his Qualifying session went about, and for the first time in 2019 both McLaren drivers made it into the top ten shootout - Lando Norris joined Sainz in Q3 - which he feels the team should be proud about.

"Honestly, I'm not missing too much at the moment as I've been very busy". On face value, it holds little interest for a two-time world champion, but Alonso said he hopes to help McLaren understand its vehicle.

"I guess they thought it is a good opportunity for me to try the auto but not take the driving time of the other drivers", Alonso added. Maybe if I was relaxing at home it would be different but I have been testing and preparing different things so, not much time to miss anything.

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