McLaren has been open about its desire to branch out into other series and following last year’s Indy 500 adventure with Fernando Alonso, IndyCar looked like a good bet. The team recently bringing in former IndyCar driver (and Alonso’s coach last year) Gil de Ferran as an advisor hinted that it might be happening relatively soon, and now it seems the first steps are being taken.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown confirmed to RACER that both he and de Ferran will be at this weekend’s double-header round in Detroit (yep, IndyCar crams in some races right after the Indy 500) trying to secure a partnership with an existing team. However, he also made it clear that these were still just preliminary discussions and that no clear decision will be made for some time.
It’s an intriguing development, though, not just because it’s a big step towards McLaren’s full-time return stateside, but also because to gives a clue as to what Alonso might be doing next season. Is he going to walk away from F1 and spearhead McLaren’s new adventure in his pursuit of the triple crown?
It’s interesting that McLaren isn’t looking at starting its own team outright just yet, instead preferring to join up with an existing squad as it did with Andretti Autosport at the Indy 500. This isn’t an uncommon practice in IndyCar, although you can imagine that a name as big as McLaren would like to go at it independently at some point in the future.
Because of the Indy 500 connection, paring up with Andretti again would seem like a good bet, although there must be several other small teams who’d jump at the chance to have a bit of involvement from the Woking squad.