Fernley To Lead McLaren IndyCar Program

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Indianapolis 500
Bob Fernley will lead McLaren's IndyCar program ahead of the 2019 Indianapolis 500. (Al Steinberg Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS – McLaren Racing has named Bob Fernley as president of McLaren IndyCar, effective immediately.

Fernley will report directly to Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, and will lead McLaren’s 2019 Indianapolis 500 program with driver Fernando Alonso.

“Bob is a fantastic operator and someone I respect greatly,” said Brown. “His experience and leadership will be essential for us on this project. 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’s extensive career portfolio most recently includes a role as deputy team principal at the Force India Formula One team, and previously a focus on North American motorsport, including successful periods in IndyCar.

His appointment is consistent with McLaren Racing’s plan to run its IndyCar program as a separate entity to its Formula One activities. Fernley will build and lead a technical team entirely focused on the 2019 Indianapolis 500, while helping to evaluate the feasibility of a longer-term McLaren involvement in IndyCar.

“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.”