McLaren is yet to make a decision on who will replace Fernando Alonso for the Monaco Formula 1 race when the Spaniard takes part in the 101st Indianapolis 500.
McLaren announced on Wednesday that Alonso would be joining the grid for the ‘500 on May 28, with the British team returning to the famous race after a 38-year absence alongside Honda and Andretti Autosport.
Alonso is set to visit Barber Motorsports Park next weekend for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama, and will then fly straight from the Spanish Grand Prix on May 14 to begin practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the following day.
McLaren is now in need of a replacement for Monaco, with reserve driver Jenson Button being the most obvious choice, the Briton having stepped away from full-time racing at the end of 2016.
However, no firm decision has been made yet, with McLaren executive director Zak Brown expecting to make a call by the end of April.
“We have a good idea of who we’re going to put in the car,” Brown said when asked about a replacement by NBC Sports.
“We will be able to do that no later than the end of the month. Probably sooner.”
Button has not made any appearances in the F1 paddock since his retirement from last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with his only scheduled appearance with McLaren being an event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the summer.
Should Button not wish to race, McLaren may turn to junior drivers Nyck de Vries or Nobuharu Matsushita, while British Formula E driver Oliver Turvey has also completed extensive simulator work with the team in recent years.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.