Silly Season was straightforward this year. Alexander Rossi stays with Andretti. Done. Wrap it up. Look to next year. Today, with McLaren’s announcement that they are joining Arrow Schmidt Peterson for 2020, the dam has burst. There are ripples throughout the paddock. Here are some of my thoughts about this development.
McLaren has a lot to prove after their debacle in May. Will partnering with Schmidt Peterson help them?
I’m disappointed that McLaren does not add to the car count. I’ve said before they are looking to come in the easy way, becoming part of an existing team instead of building their own team with a technical alliance with an established team.
It’s a shame the way Honda’s hand was forced to make this deal happen. I can’t think of a Chevy team that would be a good match for McLaren. I’m not sure they even considered one.
My first concern was for James Hincliffe and Robert Wickens. In Marshall Pruett’s story, he said that the commitment to Wickens will be honored. Later this morning, Hinchcliffe issued the following statement:
I hope he also has a contract extension. Hinchcliffe’s current contract expires after the 2020 season. He also is losing his Honda commercial deal. I hope that he receives compensation for that.
Marcus Ericsson was likely going somewhere else anyway. he may be in a carlin car next year. Which brings up the question- who will drive the second car for the new team? Fernando Alonso said he is not interested in a full time Indycar ride.
Colton Herta may be available, but I think he will become the fifth driver at Andretti Autosport. If he is, is Conor Daly once again out of a potential full time ride? It’s those paddock ripples splashing up.
With whom does Meyer Shank now partner with as they prepare for a full schedule in 2020? The team is committed to Honda. An alliance with Andretti or Coyne seems most probable. I don’t think Ganassi is interested in being anyone’s partner.
The new team name is Arrow McLaren Racing SP. It bothers that mcLaren comes before Schmidt and Peterson and that the two founders names are reduced to initials. Since mcLaren is buying the team or acquiring the shares of either owner, I guess it’s a name recognition thing.
The biggest positive in today’s events is that Indycar now has a worldwide name in its paddock. it should help with recognition in Europe and may cause a bit of a bump in the United States.
I will keep updating as i learn more. Everything I just wrote could be incorrect by now.