Alonso: Bahrain test doesn't mean F1 return

2018 Abu Dhabi GP

Alonso left F1 at the end of the 2018 season to pursue new challenges, but after just two races away he will return to the cockpit of a modern F1 auto to complete one and half days of tyre testing in Bahrain.

Just four months after turning his back on Formula One, Fernando Alonso will return to the wheel of a contemporary McLaren F1 auto on Tuesday as he takes part in a tyre test with the team in Bahrain.

Next week's test will be based around evaluating the latest Pirelli tyre compounds and Alonso's track time will be dictated by a run plan designed by the Italian tyre supplier.

McLaren want Alonso's views on how much their vehicle has changed since previous year, one of the worst in their history.

The 37-year-old Spaniard left Formula One at the end of last season but remains close to the team as an ambassador and also as a driver competing in the Indianapolis 500 with a McLaren entry in May.

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"When I said goodbye, it was because I achieved what I wanted to in formula one".

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.

McLaren-Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr has been forced to take his second MGU-K of the 2019 Formula 1 season already, following his Australian Grand Prix failure. If something happened and a great opportunity arrives, I probably will consider [it].

Alonso announced his decision to leave F1 at the end of 2018 after saying he wanted to pursue other goals, such as victory at the Indy 500 with a McLaren-entered vehicle. I think the team decided this was the best moment and not taking time from the race drivers to develop the vehicle.

"Maybe if I was relaxing at home maybe it was different but I have been testing and preparing different things so there is not much time to miss anything". McLaren confirmed the Spaniard's return on Thursday, with Alonso set to take part in both days as the team run a second vehicle to aid the development of Pirelli's tyres.