Jenson Button retired from Formula 1 at the end of last season, the Brit remains an ambassador and reserve driver role for the British team, and he could replace Alonso at next month’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The Woking based F1 squad made the surprise statement on Wednesday that Spaniard would race in the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, making him unavailable for the race in Monte Carlo.
Zak Brown, McLaren’s American boss who has been integral to ensuring Alonso would be on the starting grid for the Indy 500 in a McLaren-branded car, said they are considering several options.
“Fernando’s replacement driver is not in place and those conversations are ongoing,” Brown said. “We have a few different options and we will state who that is when we know.
“(Racing director) Eric Boullier, who runs the Formula One team, is ultimately responsible for making the recommendation as to what driver should go in the car.”
Button then mischievously tweeted on Wednesday night: “Why do I have so many missed calls?”
Why do I have so many missed calls? 🤔
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) April 12, 2017
“I believe that Stoffel is going to be in the car for some of the time. I think once a driver decision is made, Eric will ultimately make that decision [on who else drives in the test],” Brown added.
“I don’t personally know [how much experience Jenson has of the 2017 car]. He obviously hasn’t tested it physically but whether he has done simulator time with the ’17 car, Eric would have more knowledge than I on that.”