On Friday, McLaren boss Zak Brown said that the organization wouldn’t be competing on a full time basis in the IndyCar Series for 2019. It was no secret, Brown was working on a deal to do so, but simply ran out of time.
Brown, was seen in June in Belle Isle talking to some teams and was rumored to have some options if he wanted to come over. Then, this past summer, Fernando Alonso added more fuel to the fire when he announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the 2018 season.
All signs were pointing to Alonso and McLaren to come Stateside to race on a full time level in the 2019 IndyCar season.
Alonso even tested last month at the Barber Motorsports Park in an Andretti Autosport supported entry. Everything looked like a go.
Also, everyone had said that if Alonso wanted to keep doing a one-off for the Indy 500, his chances of winning were slim. You needed to race in more races in the series other than Indy. With him being open for 2019 and now having won two of the three races in the Triple Crown, a full IndyCar slate made the most sense.
But, on Saturday in COTA, Alonso admitted that a full season IndyCar option was never in the cards. He said that Friday’s announcement by McLaren changes nothing for him as he knew back in August that racing full time here in the United States wasn’t going to be an option.
“You found out today and I knew since August, so it doesn’t affect me at all,” said Alonso. If they were going to enter IndyCar full time it was never going to be with me, so it changes nothing.”
Alonso and McLaren didn’t rule out an option of racing in the series during the Month of May, but in terms of a full season, those plans are done.