When McLaren announced that they would be participating in the 2017 Indy 500 with 2 time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso behind the wheel, it was an absolute media storm from the start. People wondered how not only Fernando would do in an IndyCar but also how McLaren would do in a conjoined effort with Andretti Autosport. Fernando would qualify 5th in the middle of the second row! This was his first time in an IndyCar, let alone on a 2.5 mile oval. Fernando would run extrodinarily well for his debut almost never falling out of the top ten. But the month long worry about the reliability of the Honda engines would bite Alonso on lap 179 of 200 as the 2.2 liter twin turbo v6 would give way. When Fernando climbed out the car he would recieve one of the biggest standing ovations of the entire race.
With all of this in mind and McLaren deciding not to participate in the 2018 Indy 500 raised some eyebrows.
But according to a tweet from Adam Stern from sports business journal and a statement from Andretti Autosport, McLaren sounds like they are looking at a 2019 full time IndyCar program once again linked with Andretti Autosport. "We think McLaren would be a valuable addition to the IndyCar paddock. Our partnership for the 2017 Indy 500 proved to be successful and we would welcome the opportunity to work with them again. As for any of McLaren's 2019 plans, that is a question best directed to McLaren." The tweet also says that McLaren staff has been in Indy developing effort.
There has been alot speculation of Fernando Alonso not being satisfied with McLaren's performance in F1 and possible not wanting to continue with the team in. Fernando is a racer and wants to win, and he got that shot in the Indy 500 and would get that shot in almost all of the IndyCar races. McLaren is keen to keep Alonso so it will be something to watch with all of these ideas and facts floating around.
Will we see McLaren on the grid at St. Petersburg 2019 with Fernando Alonso? We will just have to wait and see.