McLaren is "less likely than more likely" to return to the Indianapolis 500 next year as it needs to prepare an entry that could match the hype it built around its shock run in 2017, according to executive director Zak Brown.

McLaren entered Fernando Alonso into this year's Indy 500 as part of a joint effort with Honda and Andretti Autosport, acting as one of the biggest storylines for the 101st running of the race.

Alonso has already ruled out a return to Indianapolis next year due to McLaren's expected improved Formula 1 performance and the lingering clash with the Monaco Grand Prix, with Brown adding it was looking unlikely the British marque would be back next May.

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"Never say never but I’d say it’s less likely than more likely [for 2018]," Brown said, as quoted by NBC Sports.

"When we go back to Indy - not if - we need to go with the same competitiveness and fanfare that we created we did this year. We set a high bar, and that won’t be easy!

“We’re not going to Indy just to go. We have to go with a shot to win and in a high profile manner.

"Sitting here today, we’re so focused on Formula 1. So we expect to be at Monaco with a very competitive race car.”

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I wonder if Renault would have some sort of veto regarding McLaren going back to Indy. It would seem a bit weird for McLaren to run Renault engines in F1 but Honda (presumably) engines at Indianapolis.