McLaren chief Zak Brown is expecting that future plans of his star driver Fernando Alonso will be revealed soon, and suggests that the double world champion may be free to race in other series’ should his Formula 1 commitments allow.
A head of the United States Grand Prix weekend, Brown told journalists during a teleconference, “We wanted to get the Asian swing out of the way and our new power unit partner in place which is now done. I expect we will have a positive conclusion to our plans with Fernando here in not too long.”
“He’s in the FIA Press Conference on Thursday [at Circuit of the Americas] but we have to get a deal done before anything is announced.”
A decision by the Spaniard was expected shortly after McLaren announced their switch from Honda power to Renault for next season, but negotiations appear to have been on the back burner during the races in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
There has also been a hint of some fine tuning of the deal to suit both parties, but it appears that McLaren are keen to settle the matter and give Alonso the platform to exercise his ambitions.
Brown said, “Fernando has a desire to win the Triple Crown as we all know. He’s a pure racer who would like to race every weekend and has a desire to race other races.
“It’s something we’re certainly open to doing with him when and where appropriate. We’re also open-minded to allow him to compete in other races on a very limited basis if the scenario is complementary to his Formula 1 efforts, and not detrimental to his Formula 1 program.”
Alonso had a very successful foray at this year’s Indianapolis 500, leading the race before retiring with an engine failure. He also won over media and fans during the week in May he spent at the Brickyard.
“What we wouldn’t allow is to run in multiple racing series. But like Indy, if there’s the occasional one-off, on a case-by-case basis we’ll allow him to do that.”
Meanwhile Brown has played down reports of a possible Indycar campaign by McLaren any time soon and otulined three criteria for such a project, “We need to make sure when we get involved in activities beyond our Formula 1 programme that it doesn’t detract from our Formula 1 efforts.”
“Second, we have to be competitive, and third, it has to be commercially viable.”
“With all that we have going on right now, spending much time thinking about Indycar would detract from our formula one efforts, so I’d say we’re years away from fielding an Indycar team,” added Brown.