McLaren Racing will be in the NTT IndyCar Series full time in 2020 according to reports emerging from the US on Tuesday.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown is according to the reports from the IndyStar in advanced talks with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports about forming a partnership for 2020 which would see them run a two car programme.

Paddock Eye understands that former Formula One driver Fernando Alonso is not part of McLaren’s full time IndyCar Series plan.

The reports suggest that McLaren have offered Colton Herta a drive for next season in one of their cars.

If the reports about McLaren and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports turn out to be correct it would also have an impact on Meyer Shank Racing who are eager to enter IndyCar full time in 2020 and who currently have a technical partnership with Arrow SPM with Jack Harvey in the No.60 AutoNation Sirius XM Honda.

The board of McLaren Racing are understood to be eager to enter the NTT IndyCar Series given the popularity of the sport and how keen they are to expand their racing operation beyond Formula One.

The fact that Fernando Alonso is not part of their full time IndyCar plans should help McLaren if they wish to strike a deal with Honda over an engine supply which would add weight to any partnership they may form with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

McLaren Racing’s Formula One programme entered a partnership with Arrow earlier this season but that is not related to the NTT IndyCar Series team.

If a deal can be reached between McLaren and Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports it would include James Hinchcliffe who has a long term contract with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Paddock Eye understands that McLaren are looking for an experienced driver to help them develop the programme in year one so that they can hit the ground running.

When asked about the potential partnership with McLaren at last weekend’s Honda Indy 200, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co owner Sam Schmidt simply said:

No comment

There are four races remaining in the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season and with the 2020 season not starting until March 12 McLaren have plenty of time to plan their NTT IndyCar Series full time programme.

Speaking to Paddock Eye at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last month a McLaren spokesman confirmed that the team are looking at a full time NTT IndyCar Series programme for 2020 and it appears that the wheels are very firmly in motion to make it a reality.

As to what form a potential partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports was to take it could simply be a similar partnership to the one held by Meyer Shank Racing or it could be something bigger.

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