The Arrow McLaren SP team is taking a big step towards ensuring its two young drivers have a good chance to be competitive in 2020. RACER has learned that veteran Craig Hampson has been hired to oversee the engineering department of the Indianapolis-based team that’s running Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew in the NTT IndyCar Series.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown told a couple journalists at the FIA World Endurance Championships in Bahrain over the weekend that the Arrow McLaren SP team was going to announce a big technical signing this week and RACER can report it’s the man who helped Sebastian Bourdais capture four consecutive championships in Champ Car.
Hampson, who has amassed 38 wins during his 25-year career in IndyCar with Newman/Haas, Andretti Autosport and Dale Coyne, will replace Todd Malloy as technical director of the team that campaigned James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson in 2019.
Hampson was set for his fourth year with Bourdais at Dale Coyne before the Frenchman was shockingly let go last month. It’s believed Arrow McLaren SP bought out the final year of Hampson’s contract.
The 49-year-old who resides in Chicago started with Newman/Haas in 1994 and stayed there until it closed the doors in 2012, then spent three years with Andretti and the past three seasons with Coyne. One of the most respected engineers in the IndyCar series, Hampson was reportedly being courted by six different teams.
The former Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport outfit switched from Honda to Chevy power in the off-season, and signed the last two Indy Lights champions at McLaren’s behest. This past season Will Anderson was Hinch’s race engineer with Blair Perschbacher taking care of Ericsson.
Malloy left in August after the union between McLaren and SPM was announced, signing with Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s BMW Team RLL IMSA program, Ericsson left in October for Chip Ganassi Racing, and Hinchcliffe was moved aside for O’Ward in November.