McLaren set to make full-time return to IndyCar after 41-year absence

McLaren Racing has announced that it will make a full-time return to the IndyCar motor racing series next year, in partnership with with IndyCar team Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and US carmaker Chevrolet.

The move will mark McLaren’s first full-time involvement in the championship in 41 years, having last regularly competed in the 1979 season. It has periodically entered cars into single races since, most recently with Fernando Alonso’s two attempts to win the Indianapolis 500 in 2017 and 2019.

The team will be known as Arrow McLaren Racing SP, adding McLaren’s “technical expertise, commercial experience and marketing strength” to the existing collaboration between Arrow SPM and Chevrolet, according to the company’s press release.

Earlier this year, McLaren F1 signed a major technical partnership with Arrow Electronics, the Colorado-based electronics company which is the title sponsor of the Arrow SPM IndyCar team. Arrow will continue to supply electronics infrastructure, with Chevrolet remaining in place as the engine supplier.

Gil de Ferran, sporting director of McLaren Racing, will head up the McLaren IndyCar programme, overseeing a dedicated group of staff who will work independently from the Formal One team. Arrow SPM co-founders Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson continue in their current roles.

Zak Brown, McLaren chief executive, said that the move would help to provide a “commercial platform to continue to grow our brand in North America” as well as “competition with some of the best teams in international motorsport.”

Brown added: “I’m absolutely delighted that we will expand our relationship with Arrow Electronics across both F1 and IndyCar, while renewing our long affinity with Chevrolet as our engine partner. McLaren and Chevrolet have a special history together in North America and it is fitting they are part of our full-time return to IndyCar.”