McLaren: Hulkenberg “towards top of list” for IndyCar seat
McLaren CEO Zak Brown says that Nico Hulkenberg is "towards the top of the list" of candidates for a future third IndyCar seat, should the programme be confirmed.
Hulkenberg is to take part in the rookie test for the Arrow McLaren SP team at Barber Motorsports Park next week in order to give him a first taste of IndyCar.
The team has been evaluating a third car programme to run alongside regulars Pato O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.
Brown noted that the current plan is to run a third car at Indianapolis next year, and again at some point later in the season, prior to a full programme in 2023.
"We're testing Nico on Monday," said Brown. "I think IndyCar rewards aggressive drivers, and I consider Nico to be a guy who gets up on the wheel as they say, an American term.
"I'm very excited to see him. I think he'll enjoy it, I think Fernando [Alonso] has enjoyed IndyCar, [Marcus] Ericsson's enjoyed IndyCar.
"We definitely won't a run a full-time third car [next] year. We will run at a car at Indianapolis, and we intend to run a third car later [next] year in anticipation of a full-time programme for a third car 2023.
"Nico wants to see what IndyCar is about, and we'll see how Nico gets on. And that will all be part of the process once we pull the trigger on that third car, who might be in that car. Nico is right towards the top of the list."
Brown also confirmed that McLaren F1 team principal Andreas Seidl, who ran the Porsche WEC team when Hulkenberg won Le Mans in 2015, helped to put the German in the frame for the seat.
"Andreas actually introduced me to Nico. As you say, they've had some good history. Andreas helps when and where he can if I need a favour, and he definitely helped to tee up Nico."
Hulkenberg has made it clear that he's looking forward to Monday's test.
"Of course I'm excited to go and drive again," he told Motorsport.com. "Because I haven't been behind the wheel for I think it's pretty much a year now, since Nurburgring last year. That crazy last minute step-in!
"I'm excited, and I still feel I have a couple of good laps in my right foot. So it's finding out about the car.
"I've watched the last couple of races, and my heart is in single-seater racing. Obviously F1 is not going to happen, so you look for the next best alternative, and IndyCar is definitely interesting."
Erebus unveils Coca-Cola Camaro
Erebus unveils Coca-Cola Camaro Erebus unveils Coca-Cola Camaro
Goddard inks limited S5000 deal
Goddard inks limited S5000 deal Goddard inks limited S5000 deal
Winton added to TCR Australia schedule
Winton added to TCR Australia schedule Winton added to TCR Australia schedule
NASCAR says Ty Gibbs car fire an "isolated incident"
NASCAR says Ty Gibbs car fire an "isolated incident" NASCAR says Ty Gibbs car fire an "isolated incident"
Nigel Mansell’s greatest F1 and Indycar drives
Nigel Mansell’s greatest drives Nigel Mansell’s greatest F1 and Indycar drives
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021
The top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar
How Ericsson unlocked his potential How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win
Dan Wheldon and his amazing last win Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?
How Harvey found his dream team Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting
Why Kirkwood is USA's ace-in-waiting Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star
2021 title just the start for Palou 2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar
Why Grosjean's title bid is serious Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar
Subscribe and access Motorsport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.