Fernando Alonso to visit McLaren at Monza

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso will return to McLaren for the Italian Grand Prix, albeit has a mere observer with the Woking-based outfit.

Alonso makes his return to the F1 paddock amid a rally-raid preparation programme with Toyota that should see the Spaniard contest the 2020 Dakar rally scheduled to take place early next year in Saudi Arabia.

McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl said that the two-time world champion "will come as an ambassador and visit us".

Interestingly, Seidl revealed that Alonso could have been an option for the team at Spa last weekend if it had been clear from the outset that Lando Norris, who suffered a foot injury over the summer, had been unable to driver.

The worry was short-lived however and Norris showed up at Spa fit and well, while McLaren reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin was in the wings just in case.

"With Lando being clear that he felt fine to race, the back-up would have been Sergey," explained Seidl.

"It’s a different situation if we know early enough, to look for alternatives. But it’s something we discuss when it comes to that situation.

"Our reserve driver is Sergey, so we have the seat ready and everything, and we have prepared him in the simulator."

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