McLaren executive director Zak Brown says the deal to secure Fernando Alonso a drive for next month's Indianapolis 500 required "the highest degree of secrecy" before moving swiftly once the opportunity with Andretti Autosport arose.

McLaren announced on Wednesday that it would be entering the Indy 500 with Alonso as part of a deal with Honda and Andretti, with the Spaniard missing the Monaco Grand Prix.

After gauging Alonso's initial interest, Brown worked behind the scenes to strike a deal with IndyCar CEO Mark Miles, who was able to put the McLaren chief in touch with Michael Andretti.

"We did this with highest degree of secrecy," Brown explained. "I had Mark fish around. When Mark came back and said there's a way we can do this with Michael, I called Michael directly, at this point it was let's do this with Michael. Michael went to work."

For Alonso to join the grid, British driver Stefan Wilson was required to give up his seat, having originally been set to race the sixth Andretti-Hond entry at the 500. Wilson ultimately agreed to step back after getting guarantees from INDYCAR for his sponsors and ensuring he will be on the grid in 2018.

"Stefan Wilson has had a bigger picture in the interest of INDYCAR and he must be commended for this," Brown said. "It was a difficult decision for him."

With the deal being completed in just a matters of days, and less than a month taking place between initially discussing the idea of the Indy 500 with Alonso and confirming his participation, Brown was required to move fast and make quick decisions.

"Sometimes you have to seize opportunities and move quickly," Brown said. "This is something that we had a window of opportunity to do it right. We jumped all over it.

"Between Michael's team, McLaren, Fernando and Honda, he's already studying Indianapolis, we have two races, Bahrain and Russia, his head is completely into the Indianapolis 500 and he'll pick up Canadian Grand Prix.

"We will attend Barber next weekend. Then we'll visit Michael's shop. We'll get him some simulator time and here we come, Indianapolis 500."

Alonso also stressed his desire to immerse himself in the experience of the Indy 500, turning down Brown's offer to spend some rest days in Chicago so he can spend more time with the Andretti team.

"The event is 14 days which is quite different compared to F1," Alonso said. "There is a lot of free practice, I will try to maximise the time on the track, but outside all the commitments, all the media activities, all the fan activities I will enjoy.

"We were discussing in the lobby, there are like two or three days that I'm free, so Zak was offering me to go to Chicago to another city to have a little bit of a relax.

"But I said no, I will stay there the 14 days in the motorhome or wherever is the normal place to organise some barbecues with the guys there."

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