Fernando Alonso could try McLaren's 2019 car as early as the forthcoming winter tests in Barcelona, according to Spanish sports paper Marca. McLaren CEO Zak Brown has previously strongly suggested that Alonso will be considered for a pre-season outing, something which appears close to fruition.
The Spaniard has retired from F1, but Brown has said the two-time champion is welcome to attend grands prix in McLaren colours and even test the car on occasion.
Marca sports newspaper claims that, unlike some teams including Mercedes, McLaren will not run its new car for a 'shakedown' prior to the official tests.
But when the Barcelona tests do kick off, Alonso could appear.
"It seems that Alonso will test for half a day, but it is not known if it will happen in the first week or the second," said correspondent Marco Canseco.
McLaren boss Brown admits the team will miss Alonso, but he said the team's 2019 drivers Carlos Sainz and rookie Lando Norris are "outstanding".
"Obviously Fernando's an immense talent with a tremendous amount of experience," he said. "Of course we'll miss him in the garage but we have two outstanding talents."
Both Norris and Sainz have publicly welcomed the prospect of Alonso taking some of their time in pre-season, although Brown has spoken of the importance of having both full-time drivers in the cockpit as much as possible.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.