Brit retired last year but is still McLaren’s reserve driver and ambassador for the team – and has just tweeted a cheeky hint
JENSON BUTTON is set for a sensational one-off return at the Monaco Grand Prix next month.
Fernando Alonso will be absent from the streets of Monte Carlo as he is competing in the Indianapolis 500.
And Button, 37, who quit F1 last year, remains both reserve driver and ambassador for McLaren.
Keep up to date with ALL the MOTORSPORT news
His team was quickly inundated with pleas from fans on social media to get Button to don his racing helmet once more.
No confirmation was forthcoming — but Button mischievously tweeted yesterday evening: “Why do I have so many missed calls?” with a ‘thinking face’ emoji added.
Double world champion Alonso revealed a desire to to emulate Graham Hill lay behind his crack at the Indy 500.
Brit Hill, father of 1996 world champion Damon, won the F1 title, Indy and the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race in the 1960s.
Alonso said: “I’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix twice and it is one of my ambitions to win the Triple Crown, which has been achieved by only one driver in the history of motorsport.
“Its a tough challenge, but I’m up for it. I don’t know when I’m going to race at Le Mans, but one day I intend to. I’m only 35 — I’ve plenty of time for that.”
When is the next F1 race? Bahrain Grand Prix 2017 start time, TV coverage and information
Bahrain Grand Prix Live
All the action with Lewis Hamilton going into desert duel level on points with Sebastian Vettel
Which F1 races will be live on Channel 4 in 2017? Full Formula One TV schedule for the new season – all you need to know
LEW’S A RICH BOY
Who is Lewis Hamilton? Net worth, age, wage and sponsorship deals – your questions answered
What time is the Argentine Moto GP and which TV channel is it on? Everything you need to know
F1 2017, race schedule, drivers, TV coverage and new Formula One rules – all you need to know
ON YER BIKE, JENSON
Formula 1’s Jenson Button disqualified from Iron Man triathlon… for cycling too fast
fatal pile up
Rider Mick Whalley dies after a seven-bike crash in Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup race
alonso off to indy
Fernando Alonso to miss Monaco GP and race in Indianapolis 500… and retired Jenson Button may replace him
HAIR TO THRONE
World title hopeful Lewis Hamilton shows off suave new look and hairstyle for Italian GQ magazine
Childhood sweetheart and devoted wife… who is the woman behind Nico Rosberg’s shock F1 retirement?
McLaren and Honda heading for bitter breakup with F1 team left furious with quality of engines
McLaren will enter the 101st edition of the Indy on May 28 with a Honda-engined car run by Andretti Autosport, owned by former McLaren driver Michael Andretti.
It will be the first time in 38 years that McLaren have competed at The Brickyard. They won at Indianapolis in 1974 and 1976 with Johnny Rutherford, while Hill did so in 1966.
The other F1 champions to have won at Indy are Britain’s Jim Clark, American Mario Andretti, Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi and Canadian Jacques Villeneuve.
Alonso is out of contract with McLaren at the end of the season and speculation has risen about whether he will see out the year at a team that has slipped far from their glory days.
The second most successful team in the sport after Ferrari in terms of race victories has not won anything since 2012 and has been well off the pace since starting a new partnership with Honda in 2015.
Alonso added: “I’ve never raced an IndyCar car before and neither have I ever driven on a super-speedway, but I’m confident I’ll get to grips with it fast.”