McLaren will form its own operational team for its entry to the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in 2019, opting against working with a partner as it did for its most recent appearance at the race last year.

McLaren announced on Saturday it would be returning to the Indy 500 next year with Fernando Alonso in a repeat of their appearance in 2017.



Alonso qualified fifth that year and led the early stages of the race before retiring late on, in an entry supported by both Andretti Autosport and Honda.

McLaren is yet to reveal who its engine supplier for the race will be, but team CEO Zak Brown confirmed it would not look to partner with another team as it did in 2017, instead forming its own operational Indy arm.

“It is going to be people that are not currently on our Formula 1 team,” Brown said.

“It will be built up from relationships that we have. It’ll be a new McLaren entry.

“We’ve always had a desire to go as McLaren Racing. Last time we did it on such short notice, I think it would have been impossible. It was six weeks between announcing and racing, and you can’t build-up a race team that quickly.

“That was one of things the shareholders and ourselves wanted to do, to go as McLaren Racing.

“That is why we have made the announcement today, to make time to bring those resources and the people in to have our own team.”

Brown remained coy when asked if McLaren would only be entering one car to the Indy 500, saying: “I don’t think I am going to comment on that at this moment.”

The partnership in 2017 came when Honda worked with both McLaren in F1 and Andretti in IndyCar.

While Honda is still the Andretti technical partner, McLaren has since cut ties with the Japanese manufacturer, switching to Renault.

It is understood Honda officials are uneasy about the prospect of working with McLaren and Alonso again, pointing towards a possible supply from Chevrolet, the only other active engine partner in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

However, Brown said he was “not going get into any further technical details about how we are going to compete at Indy at this moment.”

“We’ll make sure we give Fernando a situation that gives him a chance to win,” he added.


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