McLaren cans 2019 IndyCar move, Alonso Indy 500 bid possible

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has announced that the marque will not compete full-time in IndyCar next year but there is a chance that Fernando Alonso could race in the Indy 500 again as a one-off.

McLaren cans 2019 IndyCar move, Alonso Indy 500 bid possible

After Alonso announced in mid-August that he would not race in Formula 1, speculation was rife that he would make a partial or full-time switch to IndyCar in 2019 in a McLaren entry.

However, issues over engine supply put the possibility on ice, despite Alonso making very positive comments after testing an Andretti Autosport-Honda at Barber Motorsports Park.

The tentative plan was that McLaren would run a Chevrolet-powered car using Andretti Autosport engineers but from the Harding Racing raceshop, in order to prevent the exchange of intellectual property between Chevy and HPD engineers. Rumor had it that team owner Michael Andretti would then switch his four-car team from Honda to Chevrolet at the end of 2019 in order to simplify the process of running a fifth car with McLaren.

This may still occur in line with a McLaren fulltime IndyCar entry in 2020, but with time running out to adequately prepare for a season that begins mid-March, Brown has now ruled out a full season in 2019.

“For the IndyCar Series, we have taken a decision to not compete on a fulltime basis in 2019,” announced Brown at Circuit of The Americas this morning. “We are simply not ready yet and we are very focused on F1. So we won’t be doing that in 2019.

“We do have a desire to do it, as I have mentioned before, in the near future. And as far as the Indy 500 is concerned it remains of interest to us. That will be a decision that ultimately we will take in the off-season, and I think it is something that Fernando would like to do as well, but right now we are still focused on F1 and until we get a little bit of fresh air we will remain focused on that.”

Read Also:

Alonso caused a huge stir when he entered the 101st Indianapolis 500 in 2017. Two million viewers around the world watched his initial tests live on YouTube, and the two-time F1 champion then acquitted himself impressively to oval racing. He qualified fifth, led 27 laps of the race and remained in strong contention for the win until his Honda blew with 20 laps to go.

Since then, as Alonso pursues motorsport’s unofficial ‘Triple Crown’, the two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner has added victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota Gazoo Racing, and has hinted several times that he wishes to take another shot at Indy glory.

shares
comments
Rahal: IndyCar made “good gains” in superspeedway setup

Previous article

Rahal: IndyCar made “good gains” in superspeedway setup

Next article

Alonso never wanted 2019 McLaren IndyCar season

Alonso never wanted 2019 McLaren IndyCar season
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021