Arrow McLaren SP will be open to entering a third car next year if Fernando Alonso expresses an interesting in racing the full IndyCar season.
McLaren has announced a partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport that will see the team rebranded and all of McLaren’s existing IndyCar hardware added to the SPM project, but at this stage continuing as a two-car effort. While Alonso failed to qualify for this year’s Indianapolis 500 and has previously talked down the prospect of running the full season, RACER understands that McLaren believes running a car for Alonso would be financially viable, and that the team has the capacity to do so.
“The door’s always open for Fernando,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown told RACER. “He’s part of the family, he’s a contracted McLaren driver and for the first time in a long time he doesn’t have a full racing calendar ahead of him.
“He’s obviously well aware of what we’re doing here, and I’ll be seeing him later in the year and we’ll be discussing our plans and his plans, and see if those converge at any point.”
The SPM tie-up includes a change from Honda to Chevrolet power. Brown said no decisions on the driver line-up having been taken yet, with James Hinchcliffe currently under contract for one more year beyond this one and Marcus Ericsson signed for the rest of 2019.
Should Alonso not be interested in the full campaign, RACER understands another attempt at the Indy 500 remains on the table should he wish to suit up with McLaren again. The team is expected to expand to three cars for the Month of May.