Cape Town – Fernando Alonso looks set to maintain a close relationship with McLaren despite calling an end to his Formula One career.
The two-time world champion decided to wave goodbye to F1 at the end of this season after growing increasingly disillusioned with the predictability of the sport.
But, all corners of the McLaren garage are eager to tap into his wealth of knowledge and experience in order to help with the development of the 2019 car.
McLaren’s 2019 driver line-up, Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris, are both particularly keen on his input.
“I think (his input) will be very valuable,” Norris said via Autosport.
“He’s got the best idea how the car’s changed over the years, the best experience of what’s good and what’s bad, a lot more than I do.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, if he’s still going to be part of much. He’s still part of McLaren. It’s up to him.
“It would be cool.
“Of course I would like to have as many days (in the car) as possible but if everyone comes to a decision and thinks it’s for the good of the whole team and his feedback will be just as important as mine or Carlos’s, then I think it’s a good thing.”
Sainz, who is a good friend of Alonso’s, would also welcome advice from his fellow compatriot.
“It’s something that for sure is in McLaren’s interests, or also Fernando’s interests to keep himself active,” added Sainz.
“It’s a decision more up to the management than to ourselves, but I wouldn’t see it with bad eyes.
“I would see it as a good thing to have a driver like Fernando comparing cars.”
McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, also still sees Alonso as a “very valuable asset” to have for the team to have at their disposal.
“I think you’ll see him around McLaren,” Brown told the official F1 website.
“He remains part of the family, so I think where his influence comes in is helping our two drivers, he knows Carlos pretty well, he’s got to know Lando very well.
“I think there’ll be a big benefit of his experience there, and then with the engineers just helping us all work together and understand what’s next year’s car is doing, and the feedback from the drivers, what would Fernando do in a certain situation.
“I think that experience will be very valuable to us.”