McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has confirmed that an IndyCar programme remains "under review" as the team looks to expand its racing interests in the near future, with 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran joining as an advisor to aid the process.

McLaren returned to the Indy 500 in 2017 for the first time since 1979 as part of a joint entry with Honda and Andretti Autosport that saw Fernando Alonso make his debut in the race, with the two-time Formula 1 world champion qualifying fifth and leading early on before ultimately retiring due to an engine failure.

Brown has made no secret of McLaren's interest in expanding into other series, confirming that a Le Mans programme is under evaluation while the future regulations are formed, and a report from Sport Business Daily in the United States last week claimed a full-time IndyCar entry in 2019 was being considered.

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The report followed the arrival of de Ferran at McLaren, who after aiding Alonso's preparations at Indianapolis last year has now joined the team in a wider advisory role.

"Gil’s a good friend of McLaren, we have brought him on as an advisor to McLaren. We want him to help with our young drivers," Brown said.

"We are looking at some other forms of motorsport. Most notably IndyCar is under review. He obviously has great history there, having owned a team, won the Indy 500 – and generally is a great racer that knows his way around a garage.

"Any expertise he has that he can volunteer to help us improve, we’re very open-minded to that. So you’ll see him around, in Detroit at the IndyCar race in a couple of weeks’ time and around our Formula 1 garage often."

The initial report from Sport Business Daily claimed McLaren would look to collaborate either with Andretti again or Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, both of whom run full-season programmes in IndyCar already.

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