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Fernando Alonso Appointed McLaren Racing Ambassador

Fernando Alonso needs no introduction. But if you insist, there’s no denying racing is in his blood despite the fact ‘Nando left Formula 1 for IndyCar and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Fernando Alonso 11 photos
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Born in 1981, the Spaniard spent 17 years in the king of motorized sports, claiming two world titles with Renault. His F1 career took a turn for the worse on both occasions when he raced for McLaren, once because of Lewis Hamilton and the second time because of the Honda-sourced engine.

Coincidence or not, McLaren is powered by Renault for the 2019 season, the supplier who helped Alonso claim the drivers’ and constructors’ titles in 2005 and 2006. Even though his seat in the MCL34 now belongs to Carlos Sainz Jr., the Spaniard “will drive at selected tests to support the development” of this year’s car and the MCL35.

This isn’t Alonso’s main role within the team, though. As of February 2019, Fernando is McLaren’s racing ambassador, “helping advise the team’s drivers and engineers.” Otherwise said, he’s still joined at the hip with the team that denied his third and fourth world championships.

“Becoming a McLaren ambassador is a true honor,” said ‘Nando. “It is a special team, and despite the challenges we have endured recently, it remains so.” Alonso is an important asset for both the 2019 drivers and engineers, but on the other hand, his heart is set on the Indianapolis 500.

Fernando will run the #66 car in May 2019 at the 103rd running of the 500-mile race, honoring McLaren’s first victory at the Brickyard. Mark Donohue took the chequered flag in 1972 in his Penske-run M16, running a 2.6-liter Offenhauser engine mated to a Hewland three-speed transmission.

After 1973, Penske used #66 on two occasions: 2001 and 2018. For this year’s Indy, McLaren and Alonso will be powered by… wait for it… a 2.2-liter, twin-turbo, direct-injected V6 displacing 2.2 liters and developed by Chevrolet. Two years ago, Fernando’s Honda engine failed at the Indianapolis 500 with 20 laps to go.

 
 
 
 
 

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