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IndyCar Indianapolis 500

Brown: Ilott on McLaren's "consideration list" for 2025 IndyCar drive

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has stated Callum Ilott is in the running for a seat with his IndyCar team for next season.

Callum Ilott, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Ilott has been called upon on multiple occasions by Arrow McLaren through the early part of the 2024 campaign in the IndyCar Series, including Sunday’s 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500 that will see him roll off 15th in the Chevrolet-powered No. 6 entry. 

After losing his full-time seat with Juncos Hollinger Racing at the end of 2023, the Brit signed with Team Jota to run this year in the World Endurance Championship, where he currently sits second in the overall standings. However, he was given an opportunity to bolster his schedule and race with Arrow McLaren after David Malukas sustained a wrist injury in a pre-season mountain biking incident.  

While Ilott finished 13th in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and then competed in the non-points exhibition at The Thermal Club, WEC commitments allowed the team to also take a look at reigning Formula 2 champion and current Sauber reserve driver Theo Pourchaire for Long Beach and Barber.

Callum Ilott, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Callum Ilott, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Following the round at Barber, Arrow McLaren and Malukas parted ways, opting to put Pourchaire in for all remaining events with the exception of the Indy 500.

With uncertainty over next year’s driver lineup, Brown was asked by Motorsport.com in a roundtable with select media outlets if Ilott has done enough to be among the shortlist of candidates despite the Indy 500 being his last scheduled IndyCar race with the team.

“Yes,” Brown said. “He did a really good job. We wanted to see him on an oval plus Theo having never driven an oval; he's now done a test in St. Louis. We kind of felt like here's another way to evaluate. We were very happy with what we saw on the street race and road course. 

“Now, we want to see on the oval and also felt that was throwing Theo a bit much in the deep end. But yeah, Callum is definitely on our consideration list."

Pourchaire vs. Ilott?

When pressed if the scenario is Pourchaire versus Ilott for one seat, Brown succinctly shared, ”Not necessarily.”

The combination of past contract drama with Alex Palou – that saw him stay with Chip Ganassi Racing – and that being followed by the Malukas dilemma that led to a rotation between Ilott and Pourchaire has made it a challenge to solidify the driver line-up.

To that end, Pato O’Ward signed a multi-year extension over the offseason, but the status of his team-mate, Alexander Rossi, remains unknown. 

However, Brown expects to get the 2025 line-up sorted following the Indy 500.

“Now, it's like catch our breath, focus on Indy and turn our attention to what we're gonna do with our driver lineup after this race,” Brown said. 

“Those conversations will come real quickly. We've got a short list as you can imagine.”

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