Button to stand-in for Alonso in Monaco

The action may come as a surprise for the former world champion who took one step into retirement last season, but the British driver will be eager to get back behind the wheel and score the first points of the season for team McLaren.

An F1 test follows the ongoing Bahrain Grand Prix next week, while races in Spain and Russian Federation could offer Button a drive before Monaco, but he is not deemed to need it.

Fernando Alonso's Formula One rivals have applauded the Spaniard's decision to race in this year's Indianapolis 500 instead of the Monaco Grand Prix, while ruling out doing anything similar. I would never miss a race in formula one, as Fernando will.

Button, who had regarded the concluding race of the 2016 campaign in Abu Dhabi as the last of his 17-season career, will be one of McLaren's two drivers at Monaco, with Belgium's Stoffel Vandoorne in their other auto.

"I rang him, we just discussed it and his first reaction was 'great, I'm so excited!' It was an easy discussion to be honest, very straightforward". I'm supremely fit, having done a lot of triathlon training recently, so I have no worries on that score.

Speaking on Fernando Alonso's IndyCar 500 debut, Jenson Button said, "I hope he not only fares well at Indy but enjoys it too".

"I hope Jenson comes back, I think it would be great for the sport to have Jenson back in", he told reporters.

'Jenson is a class act. "He's a superb driver - fast, smooth and precise - and he won't have lost any of his competitive edge over the past few months", said the Frenchman.

Button was considered largely McLaren's only choice given his experience at Monaco. Button was the obvious choice, not just because he raced for the team previous year, but he is also its reserve driver. "I want to the best driver and the most complete driver in the world", said Alonso, adding that he needs to know how it is to handle the cars through the oval and the backstretch while driving so close to each other.

Button's farewell race at last season's Abu Dhabi GP ended badly when he had to retire with a suspension problem.

McLaren is run by Zak Brown, who had an Indianapolis-based marketing firm for years before his gradual move into Formula One. "So I think he needs to see a psychiatrist, personally".

Even for a Formula One driver, the schedule involves a daunting amount of air miles in a short spell of time, but Alonso plans to use every spare minute to prepare himself for the event as best he can.

"In the bigger picture it is more rewarding for McLaren Honda". And it underlines the fact that we're racers, above everything else'.



Other news