McLaren seek to gain "competitive advantage" from Alonso's influence

12-01-2019 10:45 | Updated: 12-01-2019 10:45
by Bobby Vincent
General
McLaren seek to gain competitive advantage from Alonso's influence

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes his team can gain a "competitive advantage" left from Fernando Alonso's influence on its 2019 programme.

Alonso has now retired from the sport after a disappointing few seasons with McLaren, with the team unable to progress despite switching from Honda to Renault power units at the start of 2018.

Brown has revealed to Crash.net that the team and Alonso still keep in touch to stay involved in F1 despite other racing commitments; with suggestions the Spanish driver could test the team's 2019 car.

"I'm very happy to have Carlos and Lando in our race car," Brown said. "I think they are two very exciting drivers (McLaren's new line-up, Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz), the youngest driver line-up in McLaren's history and I think potentially on the grid next year.

"Of course Carlos has good experience, this being the third team he would have driven for, and Lando you're all well aware of his credentials, but he's a rookie.

"Fernando is still part of the family in competing in the Indianapolis 500 with us. He, like mny drivers, some of those which you still see on the grid - Niki Lauda, Alain Prost etc - continue to have influence with their respective teams.

"So I don't think it's difficult to balance Fernando's influence. He is a very experienced, great racing car driver and has a long relationship that dates back pre-McLaren with Carlos and then of course has been team-mates with Lando in Daytona, so I think his influence is positive and welcomed.

"Both by McLaren, the engineers and the drivers. So it's something that we embrace and hope brings us a competitive advantage, so it's quite positive for us."

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