McLaren has confirmed it will use Chevrolet engines to power its Indianapolis 500 entry with Fernando Alonso next year.
Alonso will return to the famous IndyCar race two years after his last attempt to secure victory in 2017, when he retired in a McLaren-entered, Honda-powered Andretti Autosport car. Alonso needs a win at the Brickyard to secure motorsport’s unnofficial triple crown of victories at the Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans 24 Hours and Indy 500, which he has set his sights on since announcing his decision to leave F1 this year.
McLaren and Chevrolet have history as partners in the CanAm series in the 1960s and early 1970s and CEO Zak Brown said he is looking forward to working with the American manufacturer next year.
“McLaren and Chevrolet have a shared pedigree in North American motorsport and the opportunity to reunite the two brands for this special event was just too good to pass up,” Brown said. “Like McLaren, Chevrolet has racing in its heart. The company’s reputation in IndyCar and at this special race is first-class and they will be a powerful partner.”
Alonso got a taste of Chevrolet power when he drove Jimmie Johnson’s Camaro NASCAR in Bahrain last week, and after burning his bridges with Honda following a tumultuous three years with the Japanese manufacturer in F1, he said he was delighted to be pairing up with the American car company at Indy.
“It will be a privilege to wear the Bowtie Brand at the 2019 Indy 500,” Alonso said. “Having Chevrolet power behind me means we’re putting ourselves in the best possible position to compete at the front. I had a bit of a taste of Chevy power earlier this week in Jimmie’s NASCAR and I liked it! The opportunity to contest any Indy 500 is an honour, so I’m proud to have Chevrolet as part of the team.”
Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, added: “It’s exciting to partner with Fernando Alonso and McLaren for the 2019 Indianapolis 500. Fernando brings incredible driving talent, and a passion for the sport and winning the biggest races in the world. When Fernando is on track, it’s electric. He generates excitement among fans everywhere.
“Chevrolet and McLaren have a storied racing history dating back to the mid-1960s, so it will be special to partner with McLaren at the 2019 Indianapolis 500.”
Former Force India deputy team principal, Bob Fernley, is heading up McLaren’s Indy 500 challenge next year and said the Chevrolet deal was an important step towards giving the team a chance of victory.
“Our partnership with Chevrolet is a key piece of our plan for the 2019 Indy 500. As the reigning winning engine, the Chevrolet motor puts us in a strong position to contest this incredibly challenging event. We’ve quickly established a strong working relationship with the Chevrolet