McLaren Looking Into Continuing Andretti Partnership
McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown has confirmed that the Woking based outfit are keen to continue their Verizon IndyCar Series partnership with Michael Andretti in the future. Speaking following Fernando Alonso’s debut at the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil Brown said that McLaren are very happy in their relationship with Michael Andretti and Andretti Autosport.
Formula One and Verizon IndyCar Series legend Mario Andretti believes that his son, Michael would entertain running a McLaren Honda Andretti car as he is a businessman and that as long as the partnership makes commercial sense and is beneficial to both parties he can see it continuing.
Fernando Alonso is out of contract with McLaren in Formula One at the end of the season and speaking at the victory banquet following the Indianapolis 500 on Monday, Alonso said that would like to return to race in the Indy 500 in the future.
Alonso, who returned to McLaren in 2015 on a three year deal following the return of Honda to the team has had a disappointing three seasons back at Woking, however he was extremely quick in the Verizon IndyCar Series and ran up front for the entire race until his retirement from the event.
If McLaren were able to entice Alonso to stay with them in 2018 he could run the Verizon IndyCar Series campaign in a McLaren Honda Andretti car and then possibly return to the Formula One team in 2019.
Andretti Autosport have a proven track record in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Takuma Sato having won last weekend’s Indianapolis 500.
It depends on what Andretti’s plans are for 2018. We already know that he will field Stefan Wilson in the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil next May.
Mario Andretti pointed out that the McLaren top management and shareholders Sheik Mohamed and Mansour Ojjeh backed the decision to enter the Indianapolis 500 with Alonso. Ojjeh has even stated that he would like to see the company return to the Verizon IndyCar Series.