McLaren CEO Zak Brown has ruled out the possibility of the British firm returning to the top level of global endurance racing for 2023.
McLaren has one overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning with an F1 GTR in 1995 and was previously linked to a possible return under LMDh regulations, but Brown has stated that a return to endurance racing would come too soon for the British brand.
“We’re constantly reviewing other forms of motorsports,” Brown said ahead of last weekend’s Indianapolis 500. “We definitely will not go sports car racing in 2023. It’s under review.”
Brown stated that it would not be preferable for McLaren to commit to a sportscar return in 2023, as it is still focusing on long-term commitments in both Formula One and the NTT IndyCar Series, where it operates under the Arrow McLaren SP banner.
‘Right now we’re still not where we want to be in Formula 1. We’re kind of halfway through our journey. We want to stay very focused on that.
“We’re not yet where we want to be in INDYCAR, which is winning championships. We want to stay focused on that.
“So we are reviewing other forms of motorsport. If we were to do sports cars, it would definitely not be in 2023.”
IndyCar involvement ‘commercially beneficial’
Brown was present in Indianapolis for the Indy 500, where Arrow McLaren SP fielded three cars for Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist and Juan Pablo Montoya.
McLaren has partnered with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports since the start of the 2020 IndyCar campaign, which has so far produced six podiums and a maiden win for O’Ward at Texas Motor Speedway at the beginning of May.
Brown spoke positively about McLaren’s involvement in the series, stating it has benefitted the company from a commercial standpoint.
“IndyCar from what it’s done for our racing team, it has hit the objectives,” he said. “North America is very important to McLaren, the majority of our partners.
“Being in IndyCar allows us to amplify the North American marketplace. You see our partners like BAT and Mission, most recently Darktrace who are on our Formula 1 team joining us in IndyCar.
“The same time you see Arrow expand their participation in motorsports, are obviously the title partne rof the INDYCAR team, have joined us in Formula 1 to reach the other parts of the world that Formula 1 does. Commercially it’s worked out very well.”