McLaren considering Button for 3rd IndyCar entry!

McLaren boss Zak Brown says the team’s IndyCar affiliate could enter a third car in selected rounds of the US series, with Jenson Button earmarked as one of three potential candidates for the seat.

Like all motorsport series, IndyCar is on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the racing is tentatively scheduled to resume on June 6 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Arrow McLaren SP – the joint venture created last year between Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and McLaren – is undertaking a full-time effort in IndyCar with a line-up consisting of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew.

The team will enter a third car for Fernando Alonso at the Indy 500 on August 23, but the Spaniard will also likely take part in the GMR Grand Prix hosted by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on its road course on July 4.

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Brown says that Arrow McLaren initially considered recruiting Button for IndyCar’s June 21 round at Road America, and also mulled giving seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson a race outing with the team later this year.

However, racing’s current hiatus means that the necessary testing to get both drivers up to speed cannot take place, which has put Button and Johnson’s IndyCar plans on the back burner, while Alonso’s programme will move ahead as scheduled.

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“I’ve spoken with all three of them,” Brown told Motiorsport.com. “All three of them really enjoy IndyCar racing. All three want to race.

“All three are extremely competitive. I think IndyCar now has just come out with a testing restriction, so unfortunately that might make this year more difficult, because I don’t think any of those would want to just jump into a car, you know, cold in Friday practice.

“I think they’re all too professional and know the sport is too competitive to think that they can just hop in without an appropriate amount of testing.

“But I would say all three of those drivers… I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or all three in an IndyCar at some point, and I think that’d be very exciting.”

While Button would welcome the chance to race in America’s premier single-seater series, the 2009 F1 world champion has closed the door on the Indy 500, or likely any oval events for that matter.

“I was watching some video footage someone sent me the other day from 1989. I was racing in karts at Clay Pigeon – the Clay Pigeon Super Prix,” he told RadioTimes earlier this year.

“I was racing with two other drivers at one moment – Justin Wilson and Dan Wheldon – and both of them have been killed in IndyCar so it’s like ‘no’.

“It’s not worth it. I like IndyCar, I think the racing’s fantastic. The racing is really, really good and hopefully the British public will see that but yeah, I can’t do ovals.

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“If I was 19 and hadn’t got into F1, I might have given it a go but now? No. I’ve had a great career in F1. I don’t feel I need to go race in an oval and risk more than I should.”

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