McLaren: Alonso/Indy500 run won't compromise F1

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has asserted that its Formula 1 operation will not be compromised by its decision to participate in next year’s Indianapolis 500.

McLaren announced on Saturday that it would return to Indianapolis to contest next year’s iconic event under the McLaren Racing banner, with Fernando Alonso signed to spearhead its charge.

The Woking-based outfit formed a partnership with Andretti Autosport in 2017 and ran with Honda engines for the event.

Further details of its plans for the 2019 running have yet to be communicated.

McLaren has struggled in Formula 1 in recent years and holds only sixth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship, without a podium since 2014 and win-less since 2012.

When asked if the Indianapolis 500 push would affect McLaren’s F1 efforts, Brown said: "Definitely not, It's a whole separate racing team that will be created."

"We are a large racing team with lots of resources and I'm extremely confident or we would not have entered, that we can give maximum effort toward our F1 and this Indy 500 effort without one compromising the other.

"We've always had a desire to go as ‘McLaren Racing’, the last time we did it on such short notice it would have been impossible.

"I think it was six weeks between announcing and racing and you can't build a race team up that quickly, so that was one of the things shareholders and ourselves wanted to do and go as McLaren Racing.

"That's why we made the announcement [now] to give us sufficient time to bring those resources and people in to have our own team.”

McLaren previously claimed success at the Indianapolis 500 in the 1970s while in 2017 Alonso ran competitively on his debut, leading several stints before retiring due to an engine failure.