Full-time McLaren entry in IndyCar "more of a when than an if"

15-04-2019 16:04
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Full-time McLaren entry in IndyCar more of a when than an if

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has revealed the team could be competing full-time in the IndyCar series as soon as next year, as the Woking-based side look to expand their brand now there is more stability in the Formula 1 team.

With the hiring of James Key as technical officer and performance in F1 increasing, things seem to be more settled down in Woking, with both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz being on long-term contracts as well.

McLaren will have another go in the Indy500 this year as well, with Fernando Alonso manning the papaya-orange car for the second time. Brown said this will eventually bleed into a full-time IndyCar entry.

"The racing is outstanding - great teams, great drivers, great venues," Brown told Autosport. "So it's a place that McLaren would like to race.

"We've been very focused on Formula 1, and we remain very focused on Formula 1, but I've now completed the hiring of the balance of the leadership for the Formula 1 team now that James Key has started as technical director and Andreas Seidl is the managing director. We really needed to get that completed.

"Going ahead and getting the equipment, making the investment in doing Indianapolis this year in the way we are is another step in that direction [to full-time IndyCar].

"I think it's more of a when than an if, and if we were to do it for 2020, I think we'd need to make that decision in the summer in order to be properly prepared.

"So it's nothing that we've ruled out for 2020, and that decision will come sometime in the summer, and if not then, then we'll look towards 2021."

When asked if Alonso would be driving that full-time entry for McLaren, Brown was short and sweet in his answer: "No."

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