Gil de Ferran’s time at McLaren Racing has come to an end. The former CART IndyCar Series champion and 2003 Indy 500 winner served as the Formula 1 team’s sporting director starting in 2018, where he focused on assisting new McLaren CEO Zak Brown with improving its F1 program.
The Brazilian was tasked with overseeing its eponymous Indy 500 effort in 2019, which fell short of expectations, but with a new relationship forged between McLaren and Arrow SPM leading into 2020, de Ferran’s experience was put to use in bringing McLaren Racing and the renamed Arrow McLaren SP outfits together in the NTT IndyCar Series.
A McLaren spokesperson confirmed to RACER that “Gil reached the end of his contract with McLaren Racing after successfully integrating the Arrow McLaren SP team over the past 18 months as planned.”
Brown thanked his friend for three years of service.
“The task was to integrate the team we’ve got working on the IndyCar program at McLaren into Arrow McLaren SP,” he said. “Gil has guided the SP people on McLaren resources and needs, and guided the McLaren people on IndyCar racing, and has brought the two teams together very well. The intention was always to operate as a single unit and that’s what he’s done and done successfully because we had, as the IndyCar team, the best year we’ve ever had.”
AMSP finished fourth in the 2020 IndyCar championship with Pato O’Ward, it’s second-best performance in 20 years of Indy Racing League and IndyCar Series participation. Simon Pagenaud placed third in 2013 for the team.
RACER understands that de Ferran’s departure is not related to Taylor Kiel’s appointment to the role of AMSP team president last week.