Jenson Button to make one-off F1 return at Monaco

Second-place Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso of Spain kisses his trophy during victory ceremonies at the Canadian Grand Prix

Winning the iconic Indy 500 would mean a lot more to Formula One double world champion Fernando Alonso than merely scoring points for his uncompetitive McLaren team in the sport's blue-riband Monaco Grand Prix.

Honda-powered McLaren have endured a tough start to the season, with no points from two races, but Monaco's tricky street circuit could suit their auto better and is also one where drivers can make the difference.

"I hope he'll have some great stories to bring back to us from Indianapolis", Boullier said. It'll be a great experience for him.

"The experience that he has in motorsport, I don't think it'll be any problem for him", three-time Indianapolis 500 victor Helio Castroneves said.

"When you're 100pc involved in a team, I don't want to miss a grand prix, especially Monaco where so much can happen and you don't necessarily need a good engine", the Frenchman added. "On the planes, I will try to look at some videos and some races from the past years and try to learn as quick as I can".

Most of Alonso's fellow drivers said they wouldn't trade racing at Monaco for the chance to compete in the Indy 500.

"It is very challenging but I am not afraid of doing it, I am not afraid that I will be completely ready when the racing starts because it is very challenging and very attractive as well, I am looking forward to this event".

The Briton made clear last November that he was not expecting to return - and it is not clear whether he would be willing to do so now - but he has kept fit competing in triathlons and training in California.

"And it'll be nice to say "hi" to all my old Formula One mates, too, and hopefully to give the fans something to cheer about". He is now set to rack up his 306th F1 start on May 28 - matching Michael Schumacher for second place in the all-time appearance table.

A press conference is planned for Friday in Bahrain, though a McLaren spokesman said he was not in the Kingdom.

McLaren are searching for a driver to replace Fernando Alonso at this year's Monaco GP as the Spaniard will instead race at the Indianapolis 500.

"Jenson is a class act". Button, who's still under contract with the team, hasn't raced since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I think he needs to see a psychiatrist, personally!"

"In the bigger picture it is more rewarding for McLaren Honda".

Following this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, a two-day test - also in Bahrain - will be held, but Button will not be taking part; the wide, high-speed layout is the polar opposite of the narrow, twisting streets of Monte Carlo.

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