The discussions about McLaren coming to IndyCar full-time in 2019 can come to a close.
As first reported by Motorsport.com, McLaren CEO Zak Brown confirmed on Friday (Oct. 19) at Circuit of the Americas that they will not run a full-time IndyCar schedule in 2019.
It has been noticed that McLaren was interested in joining IndyCar throughout most of 2018. A story that was always on the back burner was put on the front burner as Brown attended the 2018 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. Brown commented on the situation multiple times during the Verizon IndyCar Series season leading up to today’s announcement. During that period of time, McLaren driver Fernando Alonso tested a car at Barber Motorsports Park.
But without the puzzle pieces falling the right way, McLaren will not run full-time in IndyCar next season.
“For the IndyCar Series, we have taken a decision to not compete on a full-time basis in 2019,” Brown told reporters on Friday. “We are simply not ready yet and we are very focused on F1. So we won’t be doing that in 2019.”
Despite not running a full-time effort in 2019, McLaren isn’t ruling out running the 2019 Indianapolis 500. The organization ran the 2017 Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport with Alonso behind the wheel. After leading 27 laps, it looked as if Alonso was going to be given the opportunity to win but an engine failure late relegated him to a 24th place finish.
“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.”