McLaren chief Zak Brown is confident IndyCar drivers Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon would both be competitive if they were to race in Formula 1, calling the duo "outstanding".

Haas boss Günther Steiner recently caused a stir when he said no US-based drivers were good enough to race for the American team in F1, facing backlash from the likes of Mario Andretti, Graham Rahal and Conor Daly.

Brown also said he disagreed with Steiner's thoughts, saying he liked the idea of drivers racing in multiple disciplines, having allowed Fernando Alonso to enter last year's Indianapolis 500 and this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona. 

"I just remember the days of the Dan Gurneys and Mario Andrettis in multiple disciplines. I don’t see why we can’t do that here today," Brown said.

"I also disagree with Günther Steiner’s comments. I like Günther, but saying that none of the IndyCar drivers would be capable in a Formula 1 car, I disagree with that. There are a few I would put in."

"Specifically, I think Josef Newgarden is an outstanding talent. I think Scott Dixon is an outstanding talent.

"Someone like Scott Dixon reminds me of Fernando where he’s extremely fit, very dedicated, and is as fast as ever.

"I think Scott Dixon would be competitive in a Formula 1 car today."

Brown believes a big hurdle to get drivers from other series into F1 is the lack of testing available to drivers, with teams permitted just 12 days of running across the course of the year with their current-spec cars.

"The biggest challenge you have is the lack of testing," Brown said.

"You only get eight pre-season days of testing, and even that is with one car so you rotate drivers. So to take away a day from Fernando’s four or Stoffel [Vandoorne]’s four just makes no sense.

"So I think until that rule changes, it will be difficult for a driver outside of the Formula 1 arena or Formula 2 to break into Formula 1 because they have such a disadvantage. The system doesn’t really allow you to bring someone in.

"I think it’s great that Toro Rosso took someone like Brendon Hartley because there’s risk with that decision, but he knows all the tracks as well."

 

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