Two-time Champ Car series winner Gil de Ferran has joined McLaren in an advisory role as the manufacturer explores a potential IndyCar expansion.
Officially, de Ferran’s role will be to help the squad’s junior drivers, though the Brazilian will also be present in both Formula 1 and IndyCar paddocks.
McLaren is currently considering whether it will enter IndyCar next year, with de Ferran ideally placed to help the squad make its decision.
“Gil’s a good friend of McLaren, we have brought him on as an advisor,” said McLaren team boss Zak Brown.
“We want him to help with our young drivers.
“We are looking at some other forms of motorsport, most notably IndyCar is under review – he obviously has great history there, having owned a team, won the Indy 500 – and generally is a great racer that knows his way around a garage, and so any expertise he has that he can volunteer to help us improve, we’re very open-minded to that.
“So you’ll see him around: in Detroit at the IndyCar race in a couple of weeks’ time and around our Formula 1 garage often.”
The 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner retired from top flight competition at the end of that season, and became Sports Director of the BAR Formula 1 team in 2005.
Since then he went on to compete in the American Le Mans Series with his own team, which joined the IndyCar grid in 2010 before closing its doors a year later.