Andretti, Rahal Secretive on a McLaren Full-Time Return to IndyCar
McLaren is rumored to have tapped former partner Andretti Autosport, as well as Rahal Letterman Lanigan.
The rumor mill is up and running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as teams and drivers get ready to tackle the 102nd running of the Indy 500. One of the biggest rumors of the month of May surrounds current Formula 1 outfit McLaren, as well as IndyCar teams Andretti Autosport and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Everything began when select McLaren officials visited last weekend's IndyCar Grand Prix at the Brickyard in the search for possible partnerships for the 2019 IndyCar racing season, according to Sports Business Daily. However, it's not exactly clear who these officials are or what their roles are within McLaren, but it's safe to say that aren't that many reasons why F1 personnel would visit an IndyCar race. Could the rumors turn out to be true? The teams aren't saying much, although one of them is saying a bit more than the other.
"We think McLaren would be a valuable addition to the IndyCar paddock," a spokesperson for Andretti Autosport told The Drive. "Our partnership for the 2017 Indy 500 proved to be successful and we would welcome the opportunity to work with them again."
Meanwhile, a Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing spokesperson went straight to the point: "We are not commenting on that."
As Andretti Autosport pointed out to us, last year's partnership with McLaren and their superstar driver Fernando Alonso was a successful one in terms of on-track success and overall media exposure. Alonso's race may have been cut short due to a mechanical failure, but the direct cause of the Spaniard's retirement wasn't something McLaren or Andretti Autosport could've done anything about. All fingers pointed at Honda's unreliability in 2017.
Would you welcome McLaren on the IndyCar grid next year? Let us know in the comments section.
Stay tuned for more boots-on-the-ground coverage from The Drive from now until the 102nd running of the Indy 500 on Memorial Day Weekend.