Fernando Alonso could return to Formula 1 for the 2020 season, however, he won't be driving with Ferrari, according to Scuderia's test driver Marc Gene.
The Spaniard quit F1 at the end of last season but refused to confirm that a return to professional motor racing's premier class was off the cards.
Since his departure, Alonso has been pursuing a first Indianapolis 500 victory with McLaren, as well as focusing on the World Endurance Championship with Toyota. However, he hasn't renewed with the team which has sparked speculation over a possible F1 return in the near future.
Speaking to Spanish outlet AS, Gene, a long-serving Ferrari test driver, revealed he thinks Alonso is destined to come back into the sport:
“I think he will return, but it’s not possible with Ferrari," Gene said, per Planet F1. "The fact that he did not renew with Toyota is a message that he wants to have freedom. But he will only return with a car that allows him to, if not win races then podiums."
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Alonso is a two-time Formula 1 world champion and would be welcomed back by fans of the sport with open arms and Gene is certain there will be various teams interested in his services.
The 45-year-old added: "Right now there are three teams that allow this so we will see next year or end of this season."
He has obviously kept close connections with McLaren and if the team continues to show improvements, Alonso may already have something sorted for his anticipated return.
Mercedes and Red Bull are two teams unlikely to be willing to take Alonso onboard but as Gene added, you can't rule anything out.
He finished: "Fernando always has aces up his sleeve, we don’t even know he has them.”