It was inevitable that someone this month would eventually ask McLaren CEO Zak Brown what lessons had been learned from the team's disastrous venture to Indianapolis in 2019, that resulted in Fernando Alonso's failure to qualify. He went into quite a long explanation, but he didn't need to: he had already nailed the answer in one sentence: "I think the biggest lesson we've learned is, 'Don't do what we did last year.'"
And they haven't. The partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to form Arrow McLaren SP made so much sense and it's already bearing fruit. Despite hiring two hugely inexperienced IndyCar drivers - albeit, the last two Indy Lights champions - the team has already earned a pole and runner-up finish with Patricio 'Pato' O'Ward at Road America, and Oliver Askew delivered a podium finish at Iowa Speedway.
"And just think how good they'd be if we could give them any track time!"
said one team member, referring to the complete lack of testing and the heavily condensed race-weekend schedules of double-headers squeezed in over two days - both a result of the COVID-19 restrictions.