Honda forced Arrow SPM and McLaren into Chevrolet engine switch

Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt says he felt it was a “no-brainer” to stay with Honda, but it was ultimately the Japanese manufacturer’s decision to pull out of the team.

McLaren recently announced that it would be returning to IndyCar full-time in a collaboration with Arrow SPM.

Schmidt’s team has been a long-term Honda affiliate but the marque has been reluctant to align itself with McLaren in the wake of its difficult recent Formula 1 history.

The Arrow McLaren SPM squad will instead use Chevrolet power.

When asked how difficult it was to separate from Honda, Schmidt said: "Extremely difficult, you know, because there is that loyalty.

"There is that length of time and a lot of success, and at the end of the day, they are a great motorsports and OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] operator.

"When they aren't winning, they do everything possible to win, so we wanted to stay in that camp.

"When you draw the line down the centre of the paper and you put your pros and cons on each side, that was definitely a big negative to doing this deal.

"On the other side of the page, there were so many positives that it really was, you know, a no-brainer.

"At the end of the day, it's just unfortunate, but it's ultimately their decision."

Schmidt also confirmed the technical partnership with the Meyer Shank Racing team which began in 2018 is also likely to come to an end with their departure from Honda, despite having a potential option on a third-year together for 2020.

"I've just had a fantastic long-term relationship with Michael Shank, added Schmidt. "I think he's a quality individual. We had that alliance for the last two years.

"Had an option on the third year, but I mean, the most, most likely scenario is that he'll have to go a different way, simply because of the engine situation."