However McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the project will “definitely not” distract them from their F1 effort.
“It’s a whole separate racing team that will be created. And you know we’re a large racing team with lots of resources. I’m extremely confident – or we would not have entered – that we can give maximum effort to our Formula One and this Indy 500 effort without one compromising the other.
The IndyCar effort will be separate from the F1 programme, said Brown, who described the decision to return to the race as a “no-brainer”.
“But there were a variety of criteria that we needed to meet for ourselves. One, not detracting from our Formula One operations in any way, shape or form; two, making sure we give Fernando – because we will be going as McLaren Racing – a car capable of winning; And then of course sponsorship and partners in the commercial side.
“So we always wanted to do it as we’ve been speaking about. But we needed to make sure we got everything in place and we’re happy with where we’re at.”
Brown did not confirm whether the team will run more than one car. But he said they are still considering a full-time IndyCar entry after 2019. “IndyCar as the series is attractive to McLaren Racing,” he said.
“We have big ambitions. First and foremost to get back to winning world championships and winning Formula One races.
“But we think the IndyCar series the market in which it races in, how they go motor racing is of interest to McLaren. So it’s something that a longer-term point of view continues to be under review and I would certainly like to see us as a full-time entry in the future.”
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