McLaren confirmed Friday it will enter IndyCar in 2020 on a full-time basis in a partnership with current team Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
The team will be branded Arrow McLaren Racing SP and run Chevrolet engines, which means an end to Arrow SPM's current deal with Honda. Two cars will be fielded and driver announcements will be made in due course.
McLaren dabbled in 2017 and 2019 in IndyCar's highlight event, the Indianapolis 500, with star driver Ferando Alonso. The former Formula One driver came close to winning the 2017 race but was set back by engine trouble. His goal is to take home motorsport's triple crown, which consists of wins at the Monaco Grand Prix, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Indy 500. Only the final jewel in the crown eludes him, so perhaps we'll see him racing with McLaren in IndyCar next season.
The newly minted Arrow McLaren Racing SP will keep Arrow SPM's operations and augment it with McLaren's technical knowledge and commercial experience. Arrow SPM co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson will remain with the team and will work closely with Champ Car champion and Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran, who has been hired by McLaren to head up the IndyCar efforts. He will run a dedicated team at McLaren independent from the F1 team.
“IndyCar is a natural fit for McLaren, given our legacy and determination to succeed at the top levels of international motorsport,” de Ferran said. “We acknowledge the challenge ahead of us but McLaren is committed to this partnership and to supporting the team as a whole.”
The last time McLaren competed in an entire season of IndyCar was 1979, with the M24B.