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Honda would welcome Alonso in IndyCar, won't rule out McLaren supply

Honda says it would welcome Fernando Alonso to IndyCar for 2019, and has not ruled out an engine supply for McLaren should the Formula 1 team join the series

Speculation had suggested McLaren's ill-fated stint with Honda engines in F1 had damaged the possibility of the team linking up with the manufacturer in IndyCar, due to Alonso's frequent outbursts over the Japanese company's performance.

Autosport understands McLaren is leaning towards a Chevrolet engine supply as it continues to work on a 2019 entry, after previously using Honda engines when Alonso competed in an Andretti-run car under the McLaren banner at last year's Indianapolis 500.

Art St Cyr, president of Honda Performance Developments, said: "Fernando Alonso is one of the premier racing drivers of this generation, and we very much enjoyed working with him at the 2017 Indianapolis 500.

"He has shown that he can be very competitive right off the bat, and it would be great for IndyCar if he were to decide to drive here full-time after his F1 career.

"Having Alonso as a driver would be an obvious benefit for any team or manufacturer."

Honda did not rule out an engine supply for McLaren but did admit it is has been operating at its limit in engine supply during 2018.

"Our engine lease agreements are made between HPD and specific teams," added St Cyr.

"Several of our current IndyCar series teams already have agreements in place with HPD for the 2019 season, and we have been operating near maximum capacity all year long to properly provide powerful, reliable engines for those teams.

"We have had discussions with several current and potential teams for 2019, and those discussions are ongoing."

Alonso is likely to use a Honda engine once again for his planned 2018 Indycar test in which he is expected to drive an Andretti-run car.

McLaren is looking increasingly likely to join IndyCar in an affiliation with Andretti, rather than the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing links that surfaced earlier this year.

Other teams in discussions over an engine supply include a prospective DragonSpeed IndyCar outfit, while RLLR is open to expanding to three cars next year.

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