IndyCar: McLaren plans a series switch for Fernando Alonso in 2019

McLaren is working on a plan to enter IndyCar full-time with double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso in 2019, according to series chief Mark Miles

Alonso announced on Tuesday that he would not compete in F1 in 2019, but left the door open for a return to grand prix racing should McLaren regain competitiveness.

Having won the Monaco Grand Prix twice and secured a maiden Le Mans victory earlier this year, Alonso needs only Indy 500 success to complete motorsport's unofficial 'Triple Crown'.

Alonso has been linked to an IndyCar future ever since his 2017 Indy 500 bid, in which he retired with just 21 laps remaining after leading parts of the race.

McLaren has remained tight-lipped regarding reports it has been evaluating a full-time IndyCar entry since then, and Autosport understands McLaren was considering a two-car team including Alonso and multiple champion Scott Dixon before Dixon confirmed his new deal with Ganassi.

Miles, CEO of IndyCar parent organisation Hulman & Company, confirmed McLaren's entry was in progress in a statement to Autosport.

"Today's announcement [about Alonso stepping back from F1 in 2019] certainly has fueled excitement among IndyCar fans who hope that Alonso will compete throughout the championship in 2019," Miles said.

"McLaren is working to put all the necessary arrangements in place, and we are supporting their efforts.

"I don't expect this to be resolved until closer to the end of this year."

British IndyCar outfit Carlin, which joined the series this season, previously suggested McLaren had left an entry for next year too late.

However, it also said an affiliation with an existing team, such as a rumoured link-up with Andretti or Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, would help make up for lost time.

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