McLaren youngster Lando Norris says any input from Fernando Alonso in 2019 will be “very valuable” as the team tries to move up the Formula 1 grid.
McLaren has endured a lacklustre few years and aspirations that severing ties with Honda would propel the team up the grid proved unfounded.
McLaren began 2018 brightly but scored just five times in the final 15 Grands Prix, amassing only 22 points in that spell, as it took a distant sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.
The team will enter 2019 with a revised line-up of Formula 2 runner-up and ex-Toro Rosso and Renault driver Carlos Sainz Jr., who replace Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Alonso will remain affiliated with McLaren courtesy of his tilt at next year’s Indianapolis 500, and team boss Zak Brown has suggested that the Spaniard could test its 2019 F1 challenger.
“I think it’ll be very valuable,” Norris said of Alonso’s presence.
“He’s obviously got the best idea of how the car’s changed over the years, the best experience of what’s good and what’s bad – a lot more than I do.
“Obviously I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“He still is part of McLaren, I guess a lot is up to him.
“Of course I would like to have as many days [of testing] as possible but if everyone comes to a decision and thinks it’s for the good of the whole team and [thinks that] his feedback would be just as important as mine or Carlos’ then I think it’s a good thing.
“But I think there’s a long way to go until we see what he wants to do and if he wants to get in an F1 car again.”