McLaren CEO Zak Brown once again refused to rule out the prospect of Fernando Alonso testing the MCL34 during pre-season as the team look to hit the ground running in 2019. Alonso has left McLaren's F1 team in order to chase the 'Triple Crown' but has been strongly linked with a run in Barcelona.
With the relatively inexperienced pair of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris forming McLaren's line-up in 2019, the feedback from a double world champion could be crucial as the 20-time title-winners look to turn around their recent poor fortunes.
Both Sainz and Norris have welcomed the prospect of Alonso spending time at the wheel during preseason, although Brown says the race drivers will take priority.
When asked about Alonso's F1 status at the MCL34's launch on Thursday, Brown was fairly cryptic.
"Fernando is still part of the team with our Indy 500 project," Brown said. "Gil ultimately leads our kind of driver plan so we have a few plans in directions that we could go if we needed a reserve driver.
"I think we'd probably stop short of announcing our reserve driver, but I think there is a variety of drivers out there that if we need someone on short notice could fill that role.
"Right now we are taking testing one day at a time.
"We are focusing on our racing drivers. Any time you go into pre-season testing and doing everything from reliably and performance, you have a set plan and you take it one day at a time."