McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl has confirmed that Sergey Sirotkin, not Fernando Alonso, would have replaced Lando Norris at the Belgian Grand Prix if the Brit’s foot injury left him unable to perform.
During the summer break, Norris picked up an injury whilst out running, and although it eventually proved to be not serious enough that he was forced to miss a race, McLaren did have to consider contingencies.
Former Williams driver and now McLaren reserve Sirotkin would have been his replacement, despite speculation that the team were speaking to Alonso.
“With Lando being clear that he felt fine to race, the back-up would have been Sergey,” Seidl confirmed.
“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.”
Alonso still holds close ties to McLaren, but was never in the frame to return in that particular race at Spa.
“I don’t know exactly how the contract is exactly but he is still a part of McLaren,” Seidl continued.
“Zak [Brown] is still having a lot of exchange with him and other programmes I’m sure. If we would have an issue like that, there would be a discussion happening.”
Seid also confirmed that Alonso will be with the team at the upcoming Italian Grand Prix, but it will not be in a driving capacity.
“He will come as an ambassador and visit us,” he said.
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.