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McLaren would not block Alonso return

NEWS STORY
13/07/2019

His Triple Crown dream effectively in tatters following this year's Indy 500 debacle, it is unclear what the future holds for Fernando Alonso.

While the Spaniard remains an ambassador for the company, his return to Woking as part of its F1 programme was already looking unlikely, despite testing for the team at the post-Bahrain test, this week's announcement that Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are being retained for 2020 seemingly killing off any possible media speculation.

However, speaking at Silverstone, Zak Brown admitted that the Woking team would not attempt to block the Spaniard returning to the F1 grid with a rival team.

"Fernando remains an ambassador with McLaren," Brown told reporters. "We have a great relationship with him and speak with him about some racing programmes in the future that are not Formula 1 related.

"But we're happy for him if he wants to get back into Formula 1, because we don't have a seat available, to go race for another team," he added. "We'd very much support him in that if that's what he wants to do."

The Spaniard, who 'retired' from F1 at the end of last season, is still widely regarded as one of the top drivers out there, even if he does carry more than his fair share of baggage, and with a number of questions marks in terms of the 2020 grid it comes as no surprise to hear his name linked with a number of teams, if only to give the current incumbents a boot up the rear.

Indeed, Brown admits that the decision to confirm his team's line-up this week lay partly in ther fact that the team wanted to remove any doubts that might compromise the team's efforts as we head into the 'silly season'.

"I've been impressed with both our drivers," he said. "Really pleased with our driver line-up, which is why we wanted to confirm it ahead of the silly season, which seems to be ramping up.

"Carlos has been extremely quick every weekend and then Lando specifically, he also is extremely quick, a quick learner. He's not making some of the mistakes - knock on wood - that you maybe anticipate from a rookie driver. He drives quite mature, his feedback's good, he gets along with Carlos very well, and both our drivers are driving for the team, so we're just very pleased with their progress, so we thought we'd get that out of the way so we can continue with our programme, head-down and just keep racing."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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