De Ferran: McLaren’s solo Indy 500 strategy with Alonso a “huge step” – IndyCar

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Gil de Ferran admits that McLaren going it alone at the 2019 Indianapolis 500 is a “huge step”, but insists that the group has not underestimated the challenge.

De Ferran is now McLaren’s sporting director, but he started his association with the group by functioning as an advisor to Fernando Alonso in 2017, as the double Formula 1 planet champion started his quest for motorsport’s triple crown by driving for Andretti in the Indy 500.

On its return to the race this year, McLaren is operating its personal programme with some technical help from Carlin.

Despite the fact that functioning for the F1 group remains his priority, de Ferran will travel to Indianapolis for practice, which kicks off on 14 Might, and for qualifying.

“It is a huge step for us,” de Ferran told Autosport. “A enormous work, in particular due to the fact we have to make positive we provide [in F1] and we provide there, with out producing any challenges for either programme.

“A lot of believed went into the arranging, and hopefully we’re in a position to execute as nicely as we planned. “More than there the challenge is massive, naturally. And we’re incredibly conscious of that.

“We have some superior persons, they are devoted to that programme – incredibly talented and skilled guys. But placing a group collectively requires time, and it is never ever quick.”

De Ferran says McLaren knows how really hard it will be to take on established players such as Penske, the group with which he won the Indy 500 in 2003.

“We’re racing against some incredibly superior teams that have been functioning collectively for a extended time, and they know their stuff – know due to the fact I utilized to be portion of a single of these teams,” added de Ferran.

“There is no underestimating the challenge that we have ahead on that front.

“We’re attempting to place our finest foot forward and we’ll see. But Fernando naturally requirements no introduction, he’s outstanding.”

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