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"Rare breed" Alonso a "worthy competitor to race against" - Brown

"Rare breed" Alonso a "worthy competitor to race against" - Brown

F1 News

"Rare breed" Alonso a "worthy competitor to race against" - Brown

"Rare breed" Alonso a "worthy competitor to race against" - Brown

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has described Fernando Alonso as a "rare breed" and a "very worthy competitor" ahead of the Spaniard's Formula 1 return with Alpine this season.

Alonso last raced in F1 with McLaren, walking away from the sport at the end of the 2018 season after spending four years with the Woking-based team.

During his time with McLaren, the team facilitated Alonso's dream to race at the Indianapolis 500, which led to them bringing back Jenson Button as cover for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

Even after ending his relationship with the team as an F1 driver, Alonso contested both the 2019 and '20 runnings of the Indy500 with McLaren, finishing 21st last year.

“He loves to race," said Brown. "He is one of those rare breeds that is motivated as ever and I look at him as someone who is going to be a very worthy competitor to race against this year.”

Last year, Alpine - then Renault - finished fifth in the constructors' standings. Along with McLaren and Racing Point, the team was involved in a season-long battle to finish best of the rest behind Mercedes and Red Bull.

With teams running largely unchanged cars this year, the midfield fight is expected to be just as fierce this time around.

Although competing with a direct rival, Brown conceded he is delighted to see Alonso back on the grid.

He added: “I’m very happy for Fernando. I consider him a friend of McLaren and a very good personal friend of mine.

"I wish we would have had more success together on track because he is an outstanding racer but we have had outstanding times together and I am happy for him."

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