Alonso to attend Italian GP with McLaren
Fernando Alonso will return to the Formula 1 paddock at the Italian Grand Prix, with McLaren admitting he could have been an option to stand in for Lando Norris if the Briton’s foot injury had been more serious.
Norris hurt his foot while running over the summer break, and had to wear a boot brace to help his recovery. In the end, the pain subsided and he was given the all clear for Belgium last weekend.
While McLaren has called on Sergey Sirotkin as an emergency replacement for race weekend dramas, its team principal Andreas Seidl says that other options – including Alonso – would have been considered if it had been obvious that Norris could not race.
“With Lando being clear that he felt fine to race, the back-up would have been Sergey,” explained Seidl.
“It’s a different situation if we know early enough, to look for alternatives. But it’s something we discuss when it comes to that situation.
“Our reserve driver is Sergey, so we have the seat ready and everything, and we have prepared him in the simulator.”
Pushed on whether Alonso would have been a proper candidate due to his ongoing relationship with the team, Seidl said: “I don’t know exactly how the contract is exactly but he is still a part of McLaren.
“Zak [Brown] is still having a lot of exchange with him and other programmes I’m sure. If we would have an issue like that, there would be a discussion happening.”
Alonso’s visit to Monza with McLaren is not to fulfil any particular performance role with the team.
“He will come as an ambassador and visit us,” added Seidl.
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