Representatives from the McLaren Racing team will visit the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock during this weekend’s Dual In Detroit.
Meetings will be held with prospective partner teams at Belle Isle as the Formula 1 outfit explores options to field a full-time IndyCar entry as early as 2019.
“Gil [de Ferran] and I and a few more McLaren people will be in Detroit [for] meetings,” McLaren CEO Zak Brown confirmed to RACER.
The trip marks the second IndyCar visit by McLaren in the span of a month. After a smaller group held similar meetings over the Indy Grand Prix event, the combination of Brown and new McLaren advisor de Ferran will add more firepower to the discussions. Formal plans, however, will not be forthcoming after Detroit.
“No decision this weekend and no firm timeline,” Brown added.
Andretti Autosport, which ran McLaren’s 2017 Indy 500 effort for Fernando Alonso, has been positioned as the clear No. 1 team to enter into a new IndyCar partnership with the British marque. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing was also rumored to be on McLaren’s wish list, but according to its co-owner, the opportunity might have passed.
“Regarding McLaren, Zak’s obviously a friend, and many people may not know we were asked to run their Indy program last year; we didn’t know who the driver was, but we didn’t have enough people or equipment, so we had to decline,” Bobby Rahal said.
“Obviously, it came out later it would be McLaren with Alonso, and I would have loved to do it, but there’s nothing to really add to it. That was then and this is now. Would we like to be involved with McLaren? Who wouldn’t. But I think that just by having that year of experience together, Andretti’s the favored choice.”