Fernando Alonso return verdict dropped by McLaren with Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz hailed

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has distanced the team from rumours linking Fernando Alonso with a return to F1. The Spaniard won two World Drivers’ Championships with Renault but hasn’t raced in the competition since 2018 in favour of attempting to win the Triple Crown by adding an Indy 500 title to his impressive resume.

Brown dismissed rumours linking Alonso with a return to McLaren – where he previously enjoyed two spells – and reaffirmed his faith in Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.

“No. We are in a different place now,” Brown said.

“That’s not a reflection on him, we have two great young drivers who are really fast that are working well together. The fans like them and we have a rhythm now and would not want to disturb that.”

Alonso still races under the McLaren banner but away from the sport’s highest level, instead hoping to improve on last year’s disappointing result at the Indy 500 event that saw the 38-year-old fail to qualify.

Despite this, Alonso remains confident in the team’s ability to give him the best opportunity to add the race to the Monaco Grand Prix and Le Mans to become only the second man in history to complete the Triple Crown.

“It was important for me to explore my options for the Indy 500 but McLaren has always been at the top,” Alonso said.

“I have a special relationship with McLaren – we’ve been through a lot together and that creates a bond, a loyalty that is strong.”

Alonso fuelled speculation he might return to F1 by asserting his desire to return to the sport in January.

“I have the idea of returning to Formula 1,” Alonso said.

“I will focus on the next two or three years of my career this summer, but I feel like a Formula 1 driver and it is what I like and I know best to do. I do not know if I will return or not, I will decide in the coming months.

“It is what I like to do the most, it is the premier category of motor racing, but it also has its disadvantages. “Formula 1 requires a complete dedication of your life; I have already had 18 years of that and now I have to assess whether I want to return to that for two or three more years or not.

“I must also assess the teams that are available or interested. I have to put everything on the table and assess it.”

Alonso also raced for Ferrari during his 18-season F1 career.

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