After months of speculations and deliberations, McLaren have finally confirmed that they’ll be entering the Indy 500 series next year as a separate team and that Fernando Alonso will be driving it, after retiring from F1.
“It’s a whole separate racing team that will be created and we are a large racing team with a lot of resources and I am extremely confident or we would not have entered, that we can give maximum effort in our F1 effort as well as Indy without one compromising the other,” said McLaren CEO, Zak Brown.
“This will be done by McLaren Racing,” he told Racer.
A new venture when the team is currently struggling to up its Formula 1 game might seem as a distraction but Brown assured reporters that it would not be the case. “It is going to be people that are not currently on our Formula 1 team. It will be built up from relationships that we have. It’ll be a new McLaren entry,” he said.
“I don’t think we had an original plan. 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.”
“So that was one of things the shareholders and ourselves wanted to do. 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.”
The McLaren CEO was asked about the possibility of McLaren running a second car at the Indy to which Brown replied, “I don’t think I am going to comment on that at this moment.”
But while next year’s Indy entry will be a one-off, Brown says it may set them up for a full-time programme in 2020. “Certainly we’ll be in a position where we are there with equipment, people and resources so it gives us a head start if ultimately we end up doing a full-time entry,” he added.