McLaren would be open to handing one of its future IndyCar drivers a Formula 1 test if they have a “credible chance” of moving into the series.

McLaren announced last week that it would be returning to IndyCar with a full-time programme in 2020, linking up with the existing Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports operation to form Arrow McLaren Racing SP.

The team will enter two cars into the IndyCar season in 2020 and expand to a third for the Indianapolis 500, as McLaren commits to its first full-season campaign in the United States for 41 years.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said in a teleconference on Monday that interest in a seat with the Chevrolet-powered McLaren team had already been high, but that any driver announcement was still “a few weeks off”.

Brown confirmed that the crossover with McLaren’s F1 project could lead to a test for one of its IndyCar drivers, should the team deem them to be a candidate for an opportunity there.

“Certainly if we feel that one of our IndyCar drivers has a credible chance in Formula 1, then for sure, we would look to put that driver in for some rookie testing,” Brown said.

"I think that's one of the exciting things about a combined Formula 1 and IndyCar effort. It will create opportunities for drivers, engineers, especially as we look into the budget cap and Formula 1 will start to change. There will be different ways to deploy our resources.

"But specifically on drivers, the answer is yes - for the right one.”

While McLaren has two seats available in IndyCar for 2020, incumbent SPM driver James Hinchcliffe is widely expected to continue with the operation and see out the final year of his contract.

The second seat is currently occupied by ex-F1 driver Marcus Ericsson.

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