|McLaren's IndyCar interest comes from American Zak Brown, but if McLaren runs at the back in F1 again next year, will he be ousted by McLaren before they ever have a chance to start an IndyCar team?|
With 2019 TV ratings down significantly, Verizon gone as series title sponsor with no replacement in sight, no 3rd engine manufacturer despite trying hard for 9 straight years, no strong international TV distribution after this year, news that McLaren and/or Fernando Alonso will not contest the 2019 IndyCar championship, future IndyCar star Robert Wickens' Paralysis from an IndyCar wreck at Pocono, and news that the Long Beach GP lost Toyota as a sponsor after so many years, IndyCar is in desperate need of any good news it can dig up.
That might come by way of Fernando Alonso.
Zak Brown says McLaren still has an interest in running the 2019 Indy 500 with Fernando Alonso.
Brown, McLaren Racing CEO, confirmed a week ago during the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix weekend in Austin, Texas, that the team is “simply not ready" to commit to a full season in IndyCar.
“As far as the Indy 500 is concerned," Brown added, “it’s something that remains of interest to us."
Alonso himself didn’t rule out a return to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 2019.
“That will be a decision that, ultimately, we take in the offseason," Brown told IndyCar. “I think it’s something that Fernando would like to do as well, but right now we’re still focused on Formula One, and until we get a little bit of fresh air we’ll remain focused on that."
|Alonso said a full-time season in IndyCar was never the plan for 2019, yet this week he said he was trying to figure out a way to fit in two championships into his 2019 schedule. WEC is one. Is IndyCar the 2nd and now back on the table?|
"Our desire to do the IndyCar Series remains high," Brown said. “With all that's going on in Formula One right now, that's our No. 1 priority. Always has been, always will be. And so we would only do INDYCAR if we can do it in a way that we thought could be meaningful and competitive and not be a distraction.
“Ultimately, here we are in October and not all the stars aligned for us to tick all those boxes."
"I would anticipate if we enter INDYCAR, which I hope is more of a 'when' than an 'if,' it would be as McLaren Racing," Brown said. "We want to come in as our own entity when that day comes, but I think you always have to keep an open mind about how you go motor racing.
“I think we'd have to evaluate exactly when that moment comes, what's the best way to be as competitive as quickly as possible."
“North America is a very important market for McLaren Racing partners," Brown said. “For our automotive business, for our applied technologies business and Formula One, while growing in North America, has a long way to go.
“If you look at the commercial pie on how you want to truly have a global platform, INDYCAR turbocharges the North American market, while Formula One is still trying to build here. While (INDYCAR) is a spec series, it's about engineering and innovation and that's something that we pride ourselves on at McLaren. For all those reasons, we think it's an attractive racing series."