McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says an IndyCar programme in 2019 is "looking favourable" for the British team, but no decision will be taken until it completes its due diligence process over the coming weeks and months.

McLaren made a one-off return to IndyCar when it teamed up with Andretti Autosport and Honda to enter Fernando Alonso to last year's Indianapolis 500, but the company has been open about its interest in a full-time programme in the near future.

Following links to programmes in conjunction with Andretti or RLL Racing in 2019, Brown and McLaren racing director Eric Boullier both attended last weekend's Verizon IndyCar Series round in Detroit where talks over the potential project continued.

5774263478001

CrashTV: 

Asked by Crash.net for an update on McLaren's IndyCar prospects for next year, Brown explained that while it would only be considered so long as it did not impact its Formula 1 interests, the odds were looking good.

"We’re seriously considering IndyCar. We’ve been doing due diligence for quite some time," Brown said.

"As stated before, if we’re going to get into other forms of motorsport which McLaren has a great history in we need to do it in a way that first and foremost doesn’t compromise our Formula 1 activities or we won’t consider it.

"It needs to be commercially viable, something we feel we can be competitive in and fits our brand. It has to tick all of those boxes, not most of those boxes.

"We’re not done yet with our due diligence, but it’s looking favourable, so we will take a decision in order to be prepared for 2019 sometime in the upcoming months.

"If we’re confident all four of those elements really tick those boxes then it’s something that we will probably move forward on. But we’re not done with the journey yet."

Fernando Alonso is understood to be considering a full-season switch into IndyCar with McLaren for next year due to his disillusionment with F1, having called out the sport for its predictability and lack of competition throughout the field.

While Brown would not be drawn on whether Alonso could race for McLaren in IndyCar next year, he said the priority was to keep the Spaniard in the team's fold next year, be it in F1 or otherwise.

"We’re in talks with Fernando, as he said it was about this time last year that we started having conversations," Brown said.

"He’s been doing Formula 1 a long time, he’s enjoying driving as much as he ever has. I think he’s driving better than he ever has. As he’s mentioned I think he’s a little frustrated with Formula 1 being I think as he said becoming more of a constructors’ championship than a drivers’ championship.

"He loves Formula 1, he loves World Endurance and Daytona, so hopefully we will keep Fernando in the McLaren environment in some way, shape or form."

Comments

Loading Comments...