McLaren hires ex-Force India boss for IndyCar team

Bob Fernley

McLaren has hired former Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley to head its IndyCar team for next year’s Indianapolis 500.

Fernley will head up the outfit currently being put together by McLaren which will see it enter the May event with Fernando Alonso.

During its 2017 effort McLaren used an affiliation with Andretti Autosport but last week confirmed its intent to strike out with its own team.

“Heading back to The Brickyard will be a very special experience for me and I am proud to be leading this McLaren project and team,” said Fernley.

“The 500 is a hell of a challenge and we have incredibly strong competitors to overcome if we’re to be successful.

“We will need to prepare well for the month of May and that work starts now.”

The job will see Fernley report to Zak Brown, with part of his role to evaluate the series for a longer term participation.

“His experience and leadership will be essential for us on this project,” said Brown.

“He is particularly talented at putting effective teams together and extracting maximum performance with finite resources.

“The Indy 500 is no easy race and Bob’s is a key role, so I’m delighted he’s on board.”

Fernley left Force India after the team transferred ownership mid-season, but was a widely respected figure in the Formula 1 paddock having effectively led the team while it was under Vijay Mallya’s ownership.

Fernley has previous Indianapolis 500 experience courtesy of his time with Ensign during the 1980s.

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