I think what you’re seeing right now is having stable rules, that’s where we’ve caught up, and so has Ferrari. But I think in 2026, when new rules come out [for Formula 1 car regulations], that’s when you’ll miss [an] Adrian Newey.

This Sunday is the biggest day in racing, with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500. For the past few years, you’ve chosen to attend Indy. What about that race do you find so compelling?

It’s the race I grew up watching. The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend—that’s my earliest memories of car racing. Such an iconic event with all the big legends. My era was the late ’70s to early ’90s, so to be able to hang out with Johnny Rutherford, who won McLaren an Indy 500 in the 1970s, is awesome.

And to be there not only with our three permanent cars, but to have Kyle Larson racing for us, with Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick there with him, is awesome.

Larson is maybe the biggest storyline of the weekend: He’ll be running his first-ever Indy 500 with your team, then flying out to Charlotte to compete in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600. And he even qualified fifth at Indy in his first try.

Extremely impressive, right? I think every lap he’s done for us is impressive—he hasn’t put a foot wrong. It’s very easy to make a mistake around Indy, so he’s been able to find the limit without going over it.

He’s an awesome racing driver. Reminds me of the Fernando Alonsos, the Mario Andrettis, these drivers that can drop into any discipline and be awesome. To me, the greatest drivers can hop into anything and go fast, and that’s exactly what Kyle has done.

If he has a good showing, would you consider giving him an F1 test to see how he fares?

I wouldn’t rule anything out with a driver of Kyle’s talent. I think he’d love to drive anything. We had another Hendrick driver, Jimmie Johnson, who did a car swap with Fernando Alonso about five or six years ago. So never say never. But his first priority, of course, is NASCAR, and we wouldn’t want to disrupt that.

Speaking of swapping cars, Lando Norris has competed in some Indy 500 sim races. Does he want a crack at the real thing?

I’ve talked to Lando about it—not about doing it anytime soon—but would he? He’s very early in his F1 career and focused on that. We did the 24 Hours of Daytona together in 2018, with Fernando Alonso and Lando teamed up, and he was amazing. In fact, that was one of the races that gave us the ultimate confidence to put Lando in our F1 team.

So, I’d put him in that category of guys who’d love to race anything, any time. But with a 24-race calendar in F1, it’s hard to do all that and then add a 25th or 26th race to his schedule!

In the IndyCar world, there’s been some drama lately, with Team Penske drivers embroiled in a cheating scandal, misusing the ‘Push to Pass’ overtake button on their cars. How has the vibe been in that series after those revelations?

Not good. I think it was a big blemish—that team is so good, and those drivers so talented, that I don’t think everyone believes the stories: “We forgot,” “I didn’t know,” “I thought the rules changed.” They’re too good to have a mistake like that happen and go unnoticed. We have to move on from it, but it’s very disappointing.

One of your standout IndyCar drivers is Pato O’Ward, who has come tantalizingly close to winning the 500. Do you expect to see a championship from him soon?

One hundred percent. He’s been close, and it came down to the last race a couple of years ago. We need to collectively put forward a more consistent championship run, but the speed and talent are definitely there. It’s more a question of when does he win the championship, not if.

You’re good friends with the Andretti family, who compete against you in IndyCar. They were denied a chance to become the 11th team in Formula 1, but you’ve been supportive. Do you see them eventually making it in, and how?

I think the best avenue—the easiest avenue—would be for them to acquire a team. That being said, there doesn’t appear to be any team that’s motivated to sell. But when you get into sports franchises, there will always be someone prepared to sell if the right offer comes along. It’s proven to be pretty difficult to get in as an 11th team, and it doesn’t appear to me that the opportunity is going to open up or be any different, so going down the path of acquiring a team would be the easiest route.

The Miami Grand Prix was the most watched F1 race ever in the U.S., with celebrities galore. You even had former President Trump in your garage. What was that like?

Yeah, he was a guest—I don’t know who he was a guest of—but he was a guest of someone in the venue. He requested to come visit the McLaren garage and so, being a global sport, we have shown former presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens, dignitaries from around the world. That’s the appeal of Formula 1: It attracts politicians, celebrities, athletes, who all want to see what F1 is about. And when we get a request like that, from those types of people, of course we’re very respectful.

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