Alonso to test with McLaren in Bahrain next week

"When I said bye bye previous year, it was because this chapter is already complete and I achieved in F1 a lot more than what I dreamt of".

Fernando Alonso's Formula One retirement has lasted just four months, with the former world champion set to test for McLaren in Bahrain on Tuesday.

He will be driving the MCL34, but his programme will be dictated by Pirelli, as the running is part of McLaren's duties to support the Italian company's tyre development.

"Our top speeds last year, we were 10-12km/h down in every qualifying session, and this year we seem to be I think only 2-3km/h down".

It means McLaren only need to dedicate half a day of the post-Spanish Grand Prix test to a young driver, allowing Sainz and Norris to split the remaining time between them.

"As I said previous year, and in Barcelona [testing] as well, my idea is not to come back", he told Motorsport.com.

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

Among those new challenges is a second attempt at winning the Indy 500 in May and the completion of his first season in the World Endurance Championship in June. If something happened and a great opportunity arrives, I probably will consider [it].

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 vehicle.

"This opportunity, with the Pirelli test, we (McLaren) have a second vehicle and it is an opportunity".

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

"I've been too busy for that", Alonso smiled. "Being involved a little bit from past year in the development in the vehicle is useful for the team, so I hope it's a productive test". "It might be different if I was sitting at home on the sofa". I think the team decided this was the best moment and not taking time from the race drivers to develop the auto.

  • Angelo Rivera