The McLaren team is apparently working on a plan to enter IndyCar full-time. This revelation comes on the back of the announcement made by Fernando Alonso to leave F1 in 2019.
After several days of teasing fans, Alonso finally made the big reveal on Tuesday. Although he is not competing in F1 in 2019, he left the door open for a return to grand prix racing. But there is a catch, the condition is that McLaren must regain competitiveness.
He won the Monaco Grand Prix twice and secured a maiden Le Mans victory earlier this year. Now, the Spaniard only needs to win the Indy 500 to complete motorsport’s unofficial ‘Triple Crown’.
Ever since he forayed into the world of IndyCar in 2017, Alonso has been linked to a future there. Unfortunately, that year, he retired with just 21 laps remaining after leading parts of the race.
So far, McLaren have remained coy on reports that they have been evaluating a full-time IndyCar entry. The British outfit are reportedly considering a two-car team to include Alonso and multiple champion Scott Dixon. However, Dixon has signed a new deal with the Chip Ganassi team.
IndyCar chief Mark Miles confirmed that McLaren are indeed planning to enter IndyCar full-time with Alonso in 2019.
“Today’s announcement [about Alonso stepping back from F1 in 2019] certainly has fueled excitement among IndyCar fans who hope that Alonso will compete throughout the championship in 2019,” Miles said.
“McLaren is working to put all the necessary arrangements in place, and we are supporting their efforts.
“I don’t expect this to be resolved until closer to the end of this year.”
In another twist to the tale, British IndyCar outfit Carlin suggested that McLaren had left an entry for next year too late.
However, an affiliation with an existing team, such as a rumoured link-up with Andretti or Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, would help make up for lost time.