Full-time McLaren IndyCar entry likely in 2020 or 2021 - Brown

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McLaren CEO Zak Brown says a full-time return to IndyCar is likely in the next year or two.

Preparation is underway for the team's entry at the Indianapolis 500 with Fernando Alonso, although this time it is a standalone effort having worked with Andretti Autosports in 2017.

It has long been speculated that this a build-up to making a full comeback to the American series and the possibility is getting stronger.

"We've been very focused on Formula 1, and we remain very focused on Formula 1, but I've now completed the hiring of the balance of the leadership for the Formula 1 team," Brown told Autosport.

"James Key has started as technical director and Andreas Seidl is the managing director. We really needed to get that completed.

"Going ahead and getting the equipment, making the investment in doing Indianapolis this year in the way we are is another step in that direction.

"I think it's more of a when than an if, and if we were to do it for 2020, I think we'd need to make that decision in the summer in order to be properly prepared.

"So it's nothing that we've ruled out for 2020, and that decision will come sometime in the summer, and if not then, then we'll look towards 2021."

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Talking about the appeal of IndyCar, Brown added: "The racing is outstanding - great teams, great drivers, great venues, so it's a place that McLaren would like to race."

Of course, that would lead to the inevitable question of whether Alonso might be part of that project...

"No," the CEO simply replied.