McLaren full-time in IndyCar “a few years away” says Brown

McLaren CEO Zak Brown says there is "no chance" of the brand competing full-time in the IndyCar Series in 2018, but is enthusiastic about the prospects of becoming regular competitors in the Indianapolis 500.

McLaren full-time in IndyCar “a few years away” says Brown
Fernando Alonso, McLaren observes Zak Brown, McLaren Executive Director on his phone
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda retires after a blown engine
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda
 McLaren adopts a distinctly American feel in the hospitality area, in celebration of their participation in the Indy 500, Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda holds his version of the milk after retiring from the race
Fernando Alonso, Andretti Autosport Honda

A report in Autoweek quoted Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar's parent company, Hulman & Co. , saying: "Zak Brown and McLaren hope to be back at Indianapolis next year and are analysing possibilities for full-season participation."

Brown has now sought to clarify the situation from McLaren's perspective, following Fernando Alonso's star showing in the 101st Indianapolis 500.

The two-time Formula 1 world champion qualified the McLaren Honda Andretti entry fifth, led 27 of the 200 laps, and was fighting in the lead group in the closing stages of the race when his engine expired.

Brown said: "We had a great experience. It has left a very good taste in our mouth. I would like to see McLaren back at the Indy 500 on a regular basis.

"We have not made that decision yet – and we will in the next couple of months. We are very head-down and the team has been. I've been a little distracted, so now with Indy behind us, it is more likely than not that we will be back at the Indy 500.

"As far as doing a full season of IndyCar, with everything we have got going on, and to do it right, we would need to make that decision now, and we are not talking about it now let alone making that decision.

"So I think maybe further down the road it is a great series. I think McLaren Racing in North America is a nice complement to F1, because F1 has got limited reach there.

"But not yet – I think it is a few years away."

The McLaren marque pulled out of Indy car racing at the end of 1979, after three Indianapolis 500 wins (Mark Donohue in 1972, Johnny Rutherford in ’74 and ’76) and two series championships (Roger McCluskey in ’73, Tom Sneva in ’77).

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Author David Malsher-Lopez
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