McLaren executive director Zak Brown has ruled out an immediate return to Indycar this year insisting Formula 1 remains the team’s ‘number one priority’.
Fernando Alonso’s run in the Indy500 in 2017 has fuelled rumours McLaren will be open to competing at the Brickyard again at some point in the future, to continue to expand its brand in America.
However, with the Woking-based outfit’s new engine partnership with Renault still in its very early stages, Brown has put to bed any attempt at entering the 2018 event to focus on McLaren’s efforts in F1 this season.
Following the introduction of the next generation Indycar, Brown was asked by RACER if there had been any temptation to make a full-time move to the American series.
“No. I think the cars look great,” said Brown. “I think the cars look really good, but [it’s] too soon.
“With all that we’ve got going on in Formula 1, while the mechanics and engineers and all that are 100% focused, the minute me or Jonathan Neale or John Allert or Eric [Boullier] are not spending 100% of our time on Formula 1 that starts becoming a distraction for us.
“I’ve got to find more partners for our Formula 1 team, so any moment I’m trying to find an IndyCar team is a moment I’m not spending on trying to fund the Formula 1 team, which is priority number one.
“So I think before we leap into any of these other racing series, we’ve got to get back on the podium in F1. As a fan of McLaren and as a racer I want to do them all this year, but as a business we’ve got to lay out a 10-year strategy and why we’re doing it, how we’re doing it, how it’s sustainable.
“With all that’s going on, not only with our Formula 1 team but Formula 1 as a whole, we need to be spending all our time on making sure whatever happens in 2021 we’re in a good place. So I don’t think any of those other series are around the corner.”