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Fernley to leave McLaren after Indy 500 frustration

  • Published on 20 May 2019 16:26
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Robert Fernley will leave his role as the head of McLaren's IndyCar project after the team's failure to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, according to reports.

Fernando Alonso failed to secure a spot inside the top 30 last Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, meaning he had to contend for the final row on the grid on Sunday.

However, the Spaniard's four-lap average of 227.353mph wasn't enough to achieve a spot on the last row, as Kyle Kaiser bumped him on the last run of the session.

Column: Why McLaren and Alonso should stick together after Indy adversity

Fernley was appointed as the president of McLaren's IndyCar programme late last year, leaving his role at Force India in Formula 1, which went on to be renamed Racing Point. 

McLaren was reportedly looking at the potential of investing long-term in the IndyCar series, taking on a full-time or part-time role in the category.

MORE: McLaren didn't underestimate 'tremendously hard challenge' of Indy 500

McLaren's plans for IndyCar going forward are not yet clear, now that the head of its operation has vacated his role.

Alonso is still targeting winning the 'Triple Crown of Motorsport' but has no plans of yet to return to the Brickyard in 2020.

Speaking about his week, Alonso said: "It was a combination of things. We were not fast. Not only today, but the whole event we were struggling a little bit."


Replies (5)

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  • f1dave

    Posts: 640

    Why not fire Alonso as well? He's the one who hit the wall earlier in the week.

    • + 0
    • May 20 2019 - 18:19
    • Right, because the car was massively fast before that and teams shouldn't have spare cars ready to go in case you know... something goes wrong. There were multiple drivers who crashed who bounced back the day after.

      • + 0
      • May 20 2019 - 21:26
  • Fernley should be at McLaren F1 not in a series they are not that committed to anyway. He would probably do a great job at Williams to help them out of their slump. Anyway, I'll say it again, it seems to me that if you don't put in the hard work during the season, especially the first few races, it's kind of arrogant to show up at the flagship event and act like a win, or even qualifying, is achievable.

    • + 1
    • May 20 2019 - 18:44
    • Fernley is amazing. I am shocked that Force India got rid of him. I'd love to see him at Mclaren. Williams on the other hand... that's a graveyard. They even made Paddy Lowe appear mediocre.

      • + 0
      • May 20 2019 - 21:27
  • A bit of a surprise to be honest. He has a lot of experience

    • + 0
    • May 20 2019 - 23:24

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