Alonso to test with McLaren in Bahrain next week

Bahraini refugee Hakeem al Araibi arrives back in Melbourne after being held in Thailand against his will

F1's tyre supplier runs the programme and decides what tyres to use, but it will give the 37-year-old plenty of time to assess the auto.

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 vehicle for five months, the team said yesterday. Alonso will get his hands on the MCL34 in a Pirelli tyre test the first of his planned test outings this season in a new ambassadorial role.

McLaren is fielding a second MCL34 in order to assist Pirelli with its tyre development and Alonso will drive that auto, as opposed to the McLaren-run vehicle, on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon at Sakhir.

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

As for his F1 return, Alonso said: "I don't plan it".

"When I said "bye-bye" past year it was because I felt this chapter was already complete".

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I achieved a lot more in F1 than I dreamed of and I had great opportunities outside F1 to do something unprecedented. He will also race for the team at Indianapolis 500 where a win will see him complete the triple crown. If something happened and a great opportunity arrives, I probably will consider.

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

Fernando Alonso: What will the Spaniard be doing for McLaren in 2019?

"Honestly I'm not missing [F1] too much at the moment as I've been very busy", he said.

"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.

"On Pirelli it's more about testing the tyres and maybe [I will] have a little bit of an idea of what the auto is doing this year and being involved a little bit from last 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".

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