Fernando Alonso says McLaren’s confirmation to bin its full-time plans to return to IndyCar in 2019 means “nothing has changed for me” as he looks to finalise his plans for next year.

The two-time Formula 1 world champion will wave goodbye to the sport at the end of the season but has delayed confirming his 2019 plans aiming to secure a crossover deal. Alonso will complete the 2018/19 World Endurance Championship with Toyota – racing at Sebring, Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans next year – but currently has no further racing commitments secured for next year.

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Alonso is keen to return to the Indianapolis 500 to complete his Triple Crown, which McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown also refused to rule out as a possibility for next year, but the Spaniard says the Woking-based team’s withdrawal from a full IndyCar programme will not impact his intentions.

“You found out McLaren won’t be running in IndyCar next year, but I’ve known it since August, so what was said doesn’t affect my future plans. I’ve known it for a couple of months,” Alonso said. “I went there and tested an IndyCar in September just to know how the cars felt like, but there was no hidden agenda, no other plan for the future. It was never in my plans to do a full IndyCar season, so nothing changed for me.

“My programme for next year has been clear for me for many months, but we need to put things together, do a crossover of many plans from different series, different companies and when it will always be settled we’ll make the announcement. But doing a full IndyCar season was never an option.

“I’ll want to do some IndyCar in the future but not next year for sure. That would mean doing 17 races, all in America, learning the category and the tracks from zero, so that would require a commitment and determination that was never in my plans.”

Alonso made his Indy 500 debut last year with a McLaren-Andretti-Honda partnership which led to the British F1 team assessing a full-time return to IndyCar in 2019.

“For the IndyCar Series, we've taken the decision not to compete on a full-time basis in 2019," Brown confirmed at Circuit of the Americas. “We’re certainly not ready yet.

“We’re very focused on Formula 1, so we won’t be doing that in 2019. We do have a desire to do it as I mentioned before in the future.

“And as far as the Indy 500 is concerned, it’s something that remains of interest to us. That'll be a decision that ultimately we take in the off-season. I think it’s something that Fernando would like to do as well.”

McLaren enjoyed success in Can-Am between 1967 to 1971 before further American triumphs followed with victory at the Indianapolis 500 for McLaren cars with Mark Donohue in 1972 and Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976.

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