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McLaren F1 team clarifies 2003 Indy 500 winner de Ferran’s role

McLaren boss Zak Brown has confirmed that Gil de Ferran is undertaking an advisory role that covers both Formula 1 and a potential IndyCar project.

De Ferran was drafted in to advise Fernando Alonso ahead of his Indianapolis 500 programme last year and, after attending this year's Bahrain Grand Prix, has agreed a new role with McLaren.

As part of that arrangement, de Ferran – the 2003 Indy 500 winner – worked with the team in Barcelona and will do so again this weekend in Monaco.

McLaren has admitted it is considering a return to IndyCar racing, but could not "confirm or deny" rumours it was considering a joint IndyCar entry for as early as 2019 earlier this month.

"Gil is a good friend of McLaren," said Brown. "We have brought him on as an advisor to help with our young drivers.

"We are looking at some other forms of motorsport, most notably IndyCar is under review, and he obviously has great history there.

"He's a great racer who knows his way around the garage, [has] so much expertise that can help us improve and we're open-minded to that.

"You'll be seeing him in Detroit for the IndyCar race and around our Formula 1 garage often."

Alonso said he had no involvement in De Ferran's hiring, but was happy to have him on board.

"I wasn't involved at all, I was just informed about his presence here," he said.

"Zak called me a couple of weeks ago to inform me about this Gil position, of helping the team to maximise the performance and the resources and everything that he could tell us from an outside point of view.

"I know him from the IndyCar experience, and it's good to have him here with maybe a fresh approach or different point of view of some of the things that we are doing here. He's a great guy.

"At the moment he's just listening, more than talking, and trying to understand how the team does everything, and how the philosophy of the McLaren F1 team is at the moment.

"His contribution is maybe later on, or in a couple of months' time."



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