McLaren building team that can bring Alonso Indy 500 win (2nd Update)

4-time Indy 500 winner Andy Brown will soon be announced as Alonso's engineer for the Indy 500
Andy Brown (not David) will soon be announced as Alonso's engineer for the Indy 500

UPDATE CORRECTION: We confused ANDY Brown, hired by McLaren for Alonso's Indy 500 effort, with DAVID Brown who was Senna’s, Hunter-Reay's and Franchitti’s engineer and currently works for Porsche in IMSA.

01/18/19 Andy Brown was also the engineer for Ayrton Senna for 3 years in F1, and was Ryan Hunter-Reay's engineer in 2003, which included his first win at Surfers Paradise. He is highly regarded and will give Alonso a real strong chance for victory.

01/18/19 McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown is assembling a “very experienced team" for its entry to the Indianapolis 500 in May with Fernando Alonso, a team Brown feels can lead to a victory for both McLaren and Alonso.

Ex-Force India Formula 1 deputy chief Bob Fernley has been hired to oversee McLaren’s IndyCar interests, with Brown stressing the importance of building an experienced and knowledgeable team given the pressures of the race.

“Indianapolis is a difficult place that bites if you get it wrong," Brown said at Autosport International last week. “We’ve seen Rahal not qualify there before, Penske not qualify, Schmidt Peterson last year with [James] Hinchcliffe, so you’ve got to get your baseline right.

“We’re trying to think about winning the race as oppose to not qualifying for it but those are the two different extremes.

“We’ve got Gil de Ferran, who’s won the race a couple of times (Note: He only won it once) and ran a team, so he obviously has a wealth of experience. Bob Fernley, who’s responsible for putting it all together, was at Indy in the good old days, but he was brought in because he’s a really good operator and knows his way around Indy. He’s in charge of making sure we hire all the right people."

Brown is eager to draw on experience from both within the team’s existing operations and the IndyCar paddock itself, with some of the figures involved in Alonso’s 2017 entry set to work with the Spaniard once again.

“We’ve yet to announce the individuals, but the engineer has won the Indianapolis 500 four times in about the last 15 years. He’s very current," Brown said.

[Editor's Note: McLaren tried to steal Ray Gosselin from Andretti Autosport but failed, as he is staying with Andretti. McLaren will soon announce Andy Brown as Alonso's engineer. Brown is a British Engineer currently running his own Motor Sports Engineering Company, ACB Consultancy Ltd. and previously worked for PacWest Racing, Panther Racing, AJ Foyt Racing, and Chip Ganassi Racing]

“We’ve got crew chief that was on Fernando’s car in 2017, Michael [Andretti] was kind enough to let him join us, so we’ve got a very experienced team using some of the hands that we have at McLaren.

“We have people who put their hands up and said they would like to be involved in IndyCar or have been in the past.

“I’m confident it’s going to be very difficult, but I’m also very confident that we are going about it in the right way to give Fernando a chance to win."

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