McLaren’s Brown surprised Ericsson is still on the market for 2024
McLaren CEO Zak Brown is still keeping the door open to a potential fourth full-time Arrow McLaren IndyCar, but he admits to being surprised by some of the driver options available to him if the team does commit to expanding.
Responding to a question about whether he would take advantage of Marcus Ericsson’s looming free agent status to “steal” the 2022 Indy 500 winner from Chip Ganassi Racing, Brown said he thought it remarkable that the Swede would be available in the first place.
“First, I don’t think people steal things. I think people lose things,” Brown said.
“Marcus has done an outstanding job. I’ve known him from Formula 1 for some time. He’s very humble. He’s done an awesome job. He’s won the Indy 500; led the championship for some time. He would definitely be in the consideration if we decided to do a fourth car.
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“I think he’s probably the top free agent, so I’m a little surprised, given how strong things are commercially that, reading the quotes, that his current team doesn’t have the commercial confidence that they can sell the Indy 500 (winner and) championship contender and sign him up. I understand they probably have a little bit of time so I’m sure they’re working at it, but I wouldn’t let him go if he was driving for me, and I would have the commercial confidence that I could get the sponsorship. But that’s not my issue. So if he does become a free agent, (if) we run a fourth car, he would definitely be heavily under consideration.”
Despite Brown’s public enthusiasm, RACER understands that Ericsson is not under serious consideration for an Arrow McLaren seat if one were to become available in the near future. Ericsson raced for the team in its previous Schmidt Peterson Motorsports guise in 2019.