McLaren open to giving IndyCar drivers a shot at F1

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has not ruled out using the Woking-based outfit to test drivers from the NTT IndyCar Series for a potential shot at Formula 1.

Earlier this month McLaren announced it would be joining forces with the Arrow Schmidt Peterson outfit from 2020 to create McLaren Racing SP which will be powered by Chevrolet.

The move to a full-time effort with the Arrow SPM team came after a failed attempt to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 as a standalone outfit.

Currently, the McLaren SP IndyCar line-up is unknown, albeit James Hinchcliffe is under contract for 2020, however, a potential personal contract with Honda could pose an issue despite a social media post hinting he could remain with the team.

The FIA currently offers 40 points to the IndyCar champion, 30 for second, 20 for third and 10 for fourth, with further points on offer all the way to one point for finishing in 10th.

IndyCar drivers already require an International A racing licence, so there are no hurdles to cross regarding eligibility to get track time in F1 machinery.

When asked if there could be a collaboration between the F1 and IndyCar teams, Brown said: "We currently have a rookie driver [Sergio Sette Camara] who is under obligation of some rookie tests in Formula 1.

"Certainly if we feel that one of our IndyCar drivers has a credible chance in Formula 1, then for sure, we would look to put that driver in for some rookie testing.

"I think that's one of the exciting things about a combined Formula 1 and IndyCar effort is it will create opportunities for drivers, engineers, especially as we look into the budget cap and Formula One will start to change. There will be different ways to deploy our resources.

"But specifically on drivers, the answer is yes for the right one."