McLaren certain IndyCar return won't impact F1 team

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McLaren's full-time return to IndyCar in 2020 will not have any impact of their Formula 1 operation, CEO Zak Brown insists.

Last week it was confirmed that the British team will partner with the Arrow SPM outfit to create Arrow McLaren Racing SP, the first time the McLaren name will complete a full season in the American series since 1979.

A separate entity will be created within the Woking factory for the IndyCar project, and Brown is adamant the decision to return was taken with F1 firmly in mind.

“Number one on the checklist when deciding when or if we go IndyCar racing is that it cannot be a distraction from Formula 1," he was quoted by F1i.com. "We need to have the F1 team on a strong foundation.

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"I wouldn’t have brought IndyCar forward if I didn’t feel the two could run in parallel. [They will] complement each other commercially but have zero distractions to each other’s program from an on-track point of view.

“If this was 2018, I don’t think it would have been something I even brought forward because I would have felt we weren’t ready to take on another project."

One area where the two might crossover though is the drivers, with Brown suggesting the IndyCar line-up likely to test the F1 car at some point.

“Certainly if we feel that one of our IndyCar drivers has a credible chance in Formula 1, then for sure, we would look to put that driver in for some rookie testing,” he said via Crash.net.

"I think that's one of the exciting things about a combined Formula 1 and IndyCar effort. It will create opportunities for drivers, engineers, especially as we look into the budget cap and Formula 1 will start to change. There will be different ways to deploy our resources.

"But specifically on drivers, the answer is yes - for the right one.”

Further down the line, McLaren is even thought to be considering a return to WEC thanks to the new hypercar regulations from 2020.

The American CEO admits a decision on that will be guided by F1's regulation changes.

“I wouldn’t say necessarily it’s on the backburner, it just moves at a slower pace because it’s more complicated, in that we need to align it with our automotive business," he explained.

"The cost cap, we need to take that into consideration when we get into resource allocation for the future. We need to know what the future of Formula 1 looks like to finish our analysis of a potential WEC program."

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