Formula One: Ex-champion Alonso back with McLaren despite F1 retirement

Alonso signs autographs during pre-season testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in Spain.
Alonso signs autographs during pre-season testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in Spain.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (AFP) - Two-time former world champion Fernando Alonso will continue to work with McLaren as an ambassador and a car tester for the next two years after retiring from Formula 1 in November, the manufacturer announced on Wednesday (Feb 27).

The Spaniard, a winner in 2005 and 2006 raced for the Woking-based constructor in 2007 and between 2015-2018 but will keep racing at the Indianapolis 500 this year looking to secure motorsport's Triple Crown having already won a Monaco Grand Prix and a Le Mans 24.

"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" 37-year-old Alonso said in a statement.

"For any race team, having someone of Fernando's class on hand to provide support through his experience is of huge value," McLaren's chief executive Zak Brown said.

"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," Brown added.