Alonso set for Formula One testing return

McLaren confirmed during pre-season testing that Alonso would get behind the wheel of the MCL34 at some stage this year and on Thursday announced that his outing will come in Bahrain next week.

Two-times Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will test with McLaren in Bahrain next week after Sunday's Grand Prix, his first time in an F1 auto for five months, the team said on Thursday.

After quitting Formula One at the end of last season, Fernando Alonso has suggested he would be open to a return.

That auto will be driven by Sainz and Lando Norris on Tuesday before Norris has the vehicle to himself on Wednesday.

Alonso will have his first taste of a 2019 F1 vehicle next week when he joins McLaren for the post-Bahrain Grand Prix Pirelli tyre test.

"I said a year ago "bye-bye" and it was because I felt this chapter was already complete - and I achieved in Formula One a lot more than I had dreamed".

"I had great opportunities outside F1 to do things that are unprecedented, so that is why I took the decision".

More news: Federer cruises on while Halep advances to semis of Miami Open

Since departing Formula 1 full-time Alonso has continued preparations for the Indianapolis 500, raced in the World Endurance Championship, and also tested Toyota's Hilux that it competes with at Dakar. If something happened and a great opportunity arrives, I probably will consider.

They believe they have solved the issues for 2019 but Alonso will potentially give them a clearer view of progress than Sainz and Norris, who have very limited experience of last year's 2018 auto.

"I don't close doors 100% to anything in the future".

"I guess they thought it is a good opportunity for me to try the vehicle but not take the driving time of the other drivers", Alonso added.

"Maybe, if I was relaxing at home, it would be different, but I've been testing many different things so much that I've had not time to miss anything".

"It came up because my team could use a second vehicle for Pirelli", said the former two-time champion.

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