Spanish F1 star will ditch the glamour race in favour of competing in the Indianapolis 500, with retired Brit stepping up
McLAREN have confirmed Jenson Button WILL drive in Fernando Alonso’s place at the Monaco Grand Prix next month.
There had been mounting speculation the retired Brit racer, 37, would step up in the Spaniard’s place – as he heads to the US to take part in the Indianapolis 500.
However, Button – who quit Formula One last year – remains the team’s reserve driver as well as taking on ambassadorial role.
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On Friday morning, McLaren tweeted the news, saying: “We’re delighted to announce that @JensonButton will race in the #MonacoGP. More on JB’s one-off return to F1 racing.”
Button added his delight to get back in the car, adding: “I’m thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula 1 racing.
“I couldn’t think of a better place to make that return than my adopted home Grand Prix: Monaco.
“I’ve won the race before, in 2009, and it’s one of my all-time favourite racetracks.
“It’s a tricky street circuit on which a good driver can really make a difference.
“Although the McLaren-Honda MCL32 hasn’t begun the season well, I think it may be more suited to Monaco than to the faster circuits that Fernando and Stoffel have raced it on so far this season.”
Button added he hopes Alonso performs well out in the US, before saying he is still fit and raring to go for his own challenge.
The former world champion said: “As for Fernando, I hope he not only fares well at Indy but enjoys it too. It’ll be a great experience for him.
“He’s an excellent driver, as we all know, and he’s very experienced, so, although super-speedway driving techniques will be all-new to him, I expect him to get to grips with it all pretty quickly.
“And on Sunday evening, after the Monaco Grand Prix, I’ll sit down and watch him do his stuff on TV. I’m looking forward to that too.
“But most of all I’m looking forward to pitting myself against the unique racing challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix.
“I’m supremely fit, having done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries on that score.
“And it’ll be nice to say ‘hi’ to all my old Formula 1 mates too, and hopefully to give the fans something to cheer about.”
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