World champion Fernando Alonso will test for McLaren for the first time today at Jerez, autosport.com can reveal.
The last-minute test comes after Renault agreed to release the Spaniard from his contract, following intense negotiations with McLaren until late last night.
Alonso arrived at the Jerez track yesterday afternoon, staying at a nearby hotel with his father and manager, preparing for the possibility of testing.
The reigning champion, who has left Renault to join McLaren, will take over today from McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, and he is expected to drive in an unbranded car.
It remains unclear at the moment what McLaren and Renault had agreed on, but autosport.com understands that the negotiations were held at the highest level, with personnel from both McLaren and Renault kept out of the loop to ensure secrecy.
McLaren were keen to get Alonso into their car before the Christmas break, especially since there will be no extensive testing during the month of January.
A McLaren spokeswoman confirmed to autosport.com that Alonso will be testing today, while Renault were unavailable for comment.