McLaren CEO Zak Brown has confirmed that the team will not enter IndyCar full-time in 2019. The Woking squad has been linked with the switch for a number of months, with the rumours heightened following Fernando Alonso's confirmation that he would step away from F1 at the end of the year.
Alonso has been linked to an IndyCar drive due to his ambition to win the 'Triple Crown of Motorsport' which involves the Indianapolis 500. Alonso skipped the Monaco Grand Prix in 2017 to compete at Indy, where he missed out on the chance of fighting for the win due to an engine failure.
Despite ruling out a full-time entry, McLaren still could return to the Indianapolis 500 next May. Alonso competed in the race last year in a joint entry between McLaren, Honda and Andretti Autosport.
Talks were held between a number of partners over a 2019 deal, however confirmation has come that McLaren has opted not to compete full-time, with the biggest fault believed to be linked with engine deal negotiations.
“For the IndyCar Series, we have taken a decision to not compete on a full-time basis in 2019,” announced Brown on Friday morning in Austin. "We are simply not ready yet and we are very focused on F1. So we won’t be doing that in 2019.
“We do have a desire to do it, as I have mentioned before, in the near future. And as far as the Indy 500 is concerned it remains of interest to us and is something we will take a decision on in the off-season."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing