McLaren will fully return to competition at IndyCar next season for the first time since 1979, in a partnership with an existing team on the circuit, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
The new team will be called Arrow McLaren Racing SP and will use the current Arrow SPM infrastructure. McLaren brings its technical and commercial expertise and its marketing. It will be a team with two cars and will change the next campaign to Chevrolet.
“IndyCar has been a part of McLaren since our early days and the series today provides not only a commercial platform to continue growing our brand in North America, but competition with some of the best motorsport teams in the world,” said Zak Brown. , CEO of McLaren Racing. “We come to IndyCar with full respect for the sport, our competitors, the fans and the task in front of us.”
“In our hearts, we at McLaren are racers and where there is competition that puts us to the test, we are going to race,” he added.
The team currently supplies cars for James Hinchcliffe and Marcus Ericsson, but Hinchcliffe is a veteran ambassador for Honda and the commercials star for the Japanese automaker in North America. Schmidt’s seven IndyCar victories were with Honda, which also helped the team win two poles at the Indianapolis 500.
Honda Performance Development noted in a statement that “although we regret that this partnership is coming to an end … HDP has the utmost confidence in the strength and dedication of the rest of its partner teams.”
Arrow Electronics will remain the titular partner of the team and co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson will continue in their leadership roles.
“I am extremely proud of the team that Ric and I have built and that a legendary brand like McLaren Racing has decided to partner with us,” said Schmidt. “Arrow is a tremendous partner who has been integral to our growth as a team since 2015 and the creation of this new partnership. The combined technical resources and business opportunities that both McLaren and Arrow bring provide a winning combination. “
Gil de Ferran, McLaren Racing’s sporting director, will spearhead McLaren’s IndyCar operation independently from Formula One.
“IndyCar comes naturally to McLaren, given our heritage and our determination to succeed at the highest levels of motorsport,” said de Ferran, a former Indy 500 winner. “Our ambition over time is to consistently compete for wins and championships.” .
“We recognize the challenge we face, but McLaren is committed to this partnership and supporting the team.”
In May, McLaren failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 with two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.
Alonso doesn’t seem interested in driving full-time at IndyCar in 2020, but Brown has indicated that the new team will have a third car for the Indianapolis 500. AP