A recent merchandise leak from IndyCar’s offical store revealed new information, about Fernando Alonso’s entry, for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.
What We Already Knew
- McLaren Racing enters the 2019 Indy 500 as factory team
- Fernando Alonso is the only confirmed driver, a team-mate is unlikely
- Bob Fernley will lead McLaren’s 2019 Indianapolis 500 programme
- Chevrolet will power McLaren’s IndyCar effort in 2019, reuniting the brands after 47 years
- ScanSource is the first confirmed partner – reuniting with Alonso after the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona
- AutoNation is the 2nd confirmed partner – reuniting with McLaren-Indy after the 2017 Indianapolis 500
On the 23rd of February 2019, IndyCar’s official store accidentally released new Fernando Alonso merchandise – a glossy keyring and a garage road sign, the leak unveiled new info about the design of Alonso’s new IndyCar.
Both items included the number 66, which most likely will be Fernando Alonso’s entry number, for the 2019 Indianapolis 500. The merch has now been removed from the store.
The number represents McLaren’s first year in Formula 1, as the team entered the championship for the first time in Monaco 1966, with founder Bruce McLaren, and Chris Amon as their drivers.
It can also be seen as a tribute to Mark Donohue, who won the 1972 Indianapolis 500 – it was the first Indianapolis 500 win for a McLaren chassis, the car has also raced with the #66.
Also worth noting is, that both of the merchandise were the same design as McLaren’s new Formula 1 challenger, the McLaren MCL34, including the font of the numbers, meaning, we can expect a similar livery.
26th of February Update: McLaren confirm the #66 for Alonso.
McLaren will partner with Carlin
While Carlin Motorsport is mostly known for their involvement in Formula 1’s feeder series, the team will partner up with McLaren-Indy, to boost Fernando Alonso’s Indianapolis 500 charge.
Carlin’s 2018 F2 drivers are both related to McLaren – Lando Norris, who was the runner up in 2018, will race for McLaren in 2019, followed by Sérgio Sette Câmara, who finished in 6th place and will be McLaren’s test driver.
Carlos Sainz is another McLaren driver who raced with Carlin, in 2012 and 2013 respectively – in the European Formula 3 Championship, the British Formula 3 Championship, the Formula 3 Euro Series and the Macau GP.
Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton raced for Carlin in their first full IndyCar series entry in 2018, they finished 17th and 19th, respectively. 2019 will be Carlin’s 2nd full season in IndyCar.