May 30 (GMM/ McLaren has played down claims about a 2016 ‘B’ team.

After the FIA kicked off a search for a new F1 team late this week, speculation suggested an early frontrunner could be ART, a French GP2 outfit.

Leading the McLaren-liveried team in the feeder series’ 2016 championship is Stoffel Vandoorne, a McLaren-backed junior.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport suggested ART could become a McLaren-Honda ‘B’ team next year, along the lines of the new Ferrari-Haas alliance, and might also prove a route back onto the grid for Kevin Magnussen.

On Thursday, McLaren supremo Ron Dennis travelled with official reserve Magnussen to Copenhagen and made an appeal to the Danish business community to back the 22-year-old’s return to the grid.

Dennis was quoted by the local Ekstra Bladet as saying that, with champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button at McLaren currently, “Perhaps that means I have to help him (Magnussen) into another team for another learning year”.

But as for the talk of ART becoming a McLaren ‘B’ team, a spokesman for the Woking based outfit told us: “We have no such plans and have had no such discussions.”