McLaren admits that it is open to the idea of allowing Fernando Alonso to take part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018. Although Alonso's contract with McLaren runs out at the end of the current season, it is expected that the Spaniard will stay on as the team will not be powered by Honda next year.
Alonso has already spoken about his desire to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport - the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With two Monaco GP's in the bag already, Alonso went in search of victory at the Indy 500 earlier in May.
A joint partnership between McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport saw Alonso in contention for the race victory, before an engine failure ended his race 21 laps from the chequered flag. With Le Mans next up on his list, McLaren revealed that they have pondered the idea.
"I think Le Mans 2018 is too early for McLaren. We’ve got our hands full with getting our Formula 1 team back on-track," Brown told Crash.net. "We’ve spoken about it. If it’s something he would like to do, in the right circumstances, we would be open to that. But it couldn’t compromise his Formula 1 racing programme."
It is not yet known what Alonso's 2018 plans will be, but he has stated that he will only remain in F1 if he thinks he can win: "The Triple Crown is clear target for me in the future, and there are three races there. If the Indy 500 is together with Monaco as we know, there is another one still to complete," he said.
“If I remain in Formula 1, it’s because I believe I can win next year. That will ease the decision a lot because I will be in Monaco because I don’t want to lose any points there. There are three races, not only Indy. There are many, many possibilities to do a fantastic 2018."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing