McLaren CEO Zak Brown says the outfit would be open to continuing its Indianapolis 500 relationship with Fernando Alonso into 2021, if his Renault Formula 1 contract allows it.
Brown and Alonso first began their IndyCar relationship in 2017 when McLaren linked up with Andretti Autosport; Alonso spent several portions of the race in the lead but retired due to a Honda engine issue.
McLaren returned in 2019, with assistance from Carlin, but the partnership was a disaster and Alonso failed to qualify.
Alonso will attempt the missing part of his triple crown quest for a third time in 2020 with Brown and the Arrow McLaren SP outfit, linking up with full-time drivers Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew.
Alonso’s participation in the Indianapolis 500 beyond 2020 is uncertain as he will return to Formula 1 next year with Renault.
In recent years the Indy 500 and Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix have clashed but next year they are scheduled to take place on different weekends.
“I don’t know what his Renault contract says,” said Brown.
“From our point of view next year the races don’t conflict and the way Indy 500 is run the car qualifies not the driver so it is not out of the question, especially as he’ll have more experience, that if he wanted to do the Indy 500 in 2021 and his contract allows.
“I just don’t know what his contract allows – you could have a situation where someone qualifies the car for him and if he wants to compete at the Indy 500 in ’21 we’d have to see where we were at as a team but certainly that wouldn’t be something I’d be opposed to if we had a seat available.
“If he wanted to do the Indy 500 in 2021, and he was allowed to do the 500 in 2021, then that scenario could play out in a positive way.”