Brown: Hulkenberg 'towards the top' of McLaren IndyCar list

Zak Brown says F1 super-sub Nico Hulkenberg is "towards the top" of Arrow McLaren SP's list of candidates... The post Brown: Hulkenberg 'towards the top' of McLaren IndyCar list appeared first on F1i.com.

Brown: Hulkenberg 'towards the top' of McLaren IndyCar list

Zak Brown says F1 super-sub Nico Hulkenberg is "towards the top" of Arrow McLaren SP's list of candidates to fill the seat of the third car the IndyCar outfit intends to run in the series in 2023.

Hulkenberg, who is currently Aston Martin F1's reserve driver and who last raced full-time in F1 with Renault in 2019, has come to terms with the fact that his career as a Grand Prix driver is now behind him.

As the German driver contemplates his motorsport future, a potential opportunity to join the ranks of IndyCar has emerged.

Hulkenberg will test next week with Arrow McLaren SP at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, an outing provided by the IndyCar for evaluation purposes only.

But Brown is confident that Hulkenberg could become AMSP's top pick when the time comes for the IndyCar team to field a third car in the American series.

"We’re testing Nico on Monday," said Brown. "I think IndyCar rewards aggressive drivers, I consider Nico to be a driver who gets up on the wheel, as they say, an American term.

"Very excited to see him, I think he’ll enjoy it, Fernando [Alonso] enjoyed IndyCar, Marcus Ericsson’s enjoyed IndyCar."

Brown says that AMSP will likely enter a third car at next year's Indy 500, but there will be no full-schedule effort until 2023.

"We definitely won’t run a third full-time car next year, we will run a car at Indianapolis and we intend to run a car at some point later in the year in anticipation of a full-time program for a third [car] in 2023," said the McLaren Racing boss.

"Nico wants to see what IndyCar is about, we’ll see how Nico gets on, that’ll be part of the process, once we pull the trigger on that third car who might be in that car and Nico’s right towards the top of that list."

Hulkenberg's involvement with McLaren has come about as a result of a recommendation from McLaren F1 team boss Andreas Seidl who oversaw the German driver's victorious participation at Le Mans in 2015 with the works Porsche LMP1 team.

"Andreas introduced me to Nico," said Brown. "I knew Nico, but they’ve had some good history. Andreas helps when and where he can if I need a favour, so he definitely helped tee up Nico."

  • Read also - Rahal: Politics-free IndyCar is what F1 used to be

As for the 34-year-old former F1 driver, the Hulk is excited to see where his IndyCar test takes him.

"Of course I'm excited to go and drive again," he says. "I haven't been behind the wheel for I think it's pretty much a year now – since Nurburgring last year [with Racing Point]. That crazy last minute step-in!

"I'm excited, and I still feel I have a couple of good laps in my right foot. So it's finding out about the [Indy] car.

"I've watched the last couple of races, and my heart is in single-seater racing. Obviously F1 is not going to happen, so you look for the next best alternative, and IndyCar is definitely interesting."

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Hamilton 'gave it everything' in US GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton was forced to settle for second place on the grid for Sunday's United States Grand Prix,... The post Hamilton 'gave it everything' in US GP qualifying appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton 'gave it everything' in US GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton was forced to settle for second place on the grid for Sunday's United States Grand Prix, after a mighty final lap from Red Bull rival Max Verstappen left him just over two tenths shy of the top spot.

It's the first time that Mercedes has failed to clinch pole at the Circuit of the Americas since 2013, and left Hamilton apologising to the Mercedes pit wall over the team radio for falling short.

But despite his evident disappointment, Hamilton was insistent that he'd produced everything he possibly could have done from the car on the day.

"I gave it everything today," he told former US motor racing star turned commentator Danica Patrick in parc ferme after the end of qualifying, adding that he had extracted all there was to get on his final lap.

"I was happy with my last lap. Of course there's always areas that we can improve, but I think that was pretty much everything we had.

"It was a bit of a struggle through qualifying," he continued, suggesting that the team had struggled ever since topping first practice. "I think from FP1 onwards we kind of fell back a little bit.

"Those guys were incredibly quick through qualifying," he said in reference to Verstappen and his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez, who ended up third fastest at the end of Saturday afternoon's session.

Even though he will start the race sandwiched between hi two rivals - wand with his own team mate Valtteri Bottas demoted to ninth by an engine change penalty - Hamilton still reckons there's plenty to play for in the race.

"We'll just work as hard as we can tomorrow," he stated, adding that second place on the grid was a good spot to launch an attack on the polesitter in the run uphill to turn 1.

"It's good positioning for tomorrow so hopefully it'll be a good race down to turn 1," he argued. Asked for his plan for the start, Hamilton said: "To win the race and to give [the fans] the best race they've seen!"

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