Palou, Rosenqvist Stay Put

In the end, it was much ado about nothing. Alex Palou and Felix Rosenqvist will stay with the teams they raced for in 2022 next year. In nearly simultaneous announcements, both drivers and teams declared that 2023 will be status quo.

Palou in Victory Circle Sunday

Palou had indicated mid- season that he had signed with McLaren on the heels of a Ganassi announcement that his contract with the team has been extended. Palou ended the season with a win in the final race of the year at Laguna Seca last Sunday. He was fifth in the final standings. From Palou’s Twitter account:

“I’m also grateful that @CGRTeams will allow me to pursue F1 testing with @McLarenF1 outside of my INDYCAR commitment.

·Thank you Chip, Mike and the entire team for your willingness to work together and help support both the team and my personal goals throughout this process. “

Rosenqvist’s ride with Arrow McLaren SP was on the line this past season. He finished eighth in the standings, one spot behind teammate Pato O’Ward. Rosenqvist had one pole this season, at Texas. He had signed an extension with the team, but it was not specific as to which series Rosenqvist would be assigned to.

In the team’s news release, Rosenqvist said,

“There’s no better way to enter the off-season than with this news! I love this team, and I’m so happy to continue working with all the incredible people I’ve gotten to know over the past two seasons. With everything the team has in the pipeline, the continuing relationship with Pato and the addition of Alex Rossi, we are going to bring our A-game for 2023. It will be the most exciting season for me so far. Let it be March already!”

Poaching Season- McLaren Palou Announcement Follows Ganassi Option News

Marvin Gaye sums up the day’s news best. I posted a news release from Chip Ganassi Racing announcing the team is picking up its 2023 option on Alex Palou. I went out for a couple hours, come home and find out Palou has signed with McLaren.

McLaren is building up a strong lineup of drivers. So far, only Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi have definite spots in the Indycar program. My understanding is Palou’s spot is not named. I will do some digging tonight nd tomorrow and hope to get some clarity tomorrow.

At any rate, another level of drama has been added to the second half of the Indycar season. Make sure your popcorn makers are working.

Rosenqvist Stays with McLaren Team

Image from McLaren

The announcement doesn’t say whether he will remain in Indycar or move to Formula E, but it does confirm that Felix Rosenqvist has a job in the Mclaren family for 2023 and beyond.

The official news release from McLaren:

McLaren Racing has signed a multi-year deal with Felix Rosenqvist to remain on the team’s driver roster from 2023 and beyond.

McLaren Racing is currently in the process of evaluating its driver line-ups for 2023 with the newly formed McLaren Formula E Team set to embark on its debut season in the all-electric racing series and plans to expand Arrow McLaren SP into a three-car team with Felix set to be driving in one of the two series.

McLaren Racing is currently in the process of evaluating its driver line-ups for 2023 with the newly formed McLaren Formula E Team set to embark on its debut season in the all-electric racing series and plans to expand Arrow McLaren SP into a three-car team with Felix set to be driving in one of the two series.

Felix, from Värnamo, Sweden, joined Arrow McLaren SP in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2021. Since joining the series in 2019, when he was named Rookie of the Year, Felix has secured three podiums and two pole positions. Felix recently finished the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in an impressive fourth place, and currently occupies a spot in the top-10 among a competitive drivers’ championship.

Rosenqvist’s racing career also includes a stint in Formula E, having raced in the series for three seasons from 2016 to 2019, winning three races, securing six pole positions and seven podiums.

The full Arrow McLaren SP and McLaren Formula E 2023 driver line-ups will be confirmed in due course.

Felix Rosenqvist, said:

“I’m delighted to be remaining with McLaren for 2023 and beyond. With the team expanding into Formula E next season, it provides additional opportunities for me both in the USA and Europe and I look forward to being in a position to announce my plans in the coming weeks. I’ve loved my time with the Arrow McLaren SP Team in IndyCar driving the No. 7 car and we’ve had some great moments together, including securing pole earlier this year in Texas and coming home P4 in the Indy 500. I’m excited and grateful to be given this opportunity to explore the new options available to utilise my experience to help McLaren start 2023 on the strongest possible footing.”


Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:

“I’m delighted to be continuing our relationship with Felix. He’s a fantastic racer, with a lot of experience in many different types of racing cars. As a proven race winner in both categories, it was important for us to secure his talent withing the McLaren Racing family as we work to finalise our plans for 2023. His experience in Formula E would be invaluable as we head into this exciting new era of racing for McLaren Racing but he has also made a fantastic contribution to our IndyCar team. I look forward to working together with him to finalise the best opportunity for him next season.”

AMSP 500 Liveries- 1Hit, 2 Misses

Arrow McLaren SP revealed their liveries for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 today. They have added an olive color to their full time cars for Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. The car for Juan Pablo Montoya, which has a white base, is in my opinion the only one this new color works well with.

I think the orange and blue combination is great. I really don’t care for the olive patch on the 5 and the 7.

The official release from AMSP:

UNDEFEATED founder James Bond joins Arrow McLaren SP to collaborate on designs for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 29th

April 19, 2022

For the second consecutive year, Arrow McLaren SP and Vuse will partner with global sportswear brand UNDEFEATED, to collaborate on design and inspiration across the team for this year’s 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The unique partnership will see UNDEFEATED design all three Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolets, driver fire suits and the team garage for this year’s ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’.

Arrow McLaren SP, Vuse and UNDEFEATED will look to elevate the partnership after last year’s first of its kind collaboration between a streetwear and lifestyle brand and an IndyCar team. This year James Bond, founder of UNDEFEATED, will lead the design of not one, but three racecars that will compete in this year’s Indianapolis 500.

Bond and his team took a new approach for this year’s livery designs, deviating from last year’s tiger camo by bringing an asymmetrical design across all three cars. The color schemes include UNDEFEATED’s signature olive green, along with the colors that Arrow McLaren SP has come to be known for: fluro papaya, blue and black. Each livery has a slightly different design with a similar color palette, forming a unified look across the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Pato O’Ward, the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Juan Pablo Montoya, and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Felix Rosenqvist.

All three cars and drivers will take to track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway tomorrow, as the team participates in the Indianapolis 500 Open Test on April 20 and 21. Follow along with the test live on Peacock and across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube at @ArrowMcLarenSP.

James Bond, Founder, UNDEFEATED said:

“Continuing our partnership with Arrow McLaren SP, and partner Vuse, for the second year to bring streetwear designs to racing canvases at the Indianapolis 500 is a huge opportunity for the brand and industry. I’m excited about the expanded design collaboration and to bring to life UNDEFEATED’s vision across the Arrow McLaren SP team, unifying our brands on and off the racetrack during the month of May.”

Taylor Kiel, President, Arrow McLaren SP, said:  

“With the success of last year’s design, the team was ecstatic to welcome back this partnership between Arrow McLaren SP, Vuse and UNDEFEATED to elevate our position on and off the track. Collaborating with a brand like UNDEFEATED through innovation and art during IndyCar’s biggest moment of the year helps to bring the sport forward, drive creative innovation, and foster additional interest in the sport.”

Pato O’Ward, Driver, No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, said: 

“How cool is it to have special liveries across all three cars? I think once the fans see all three Arrow McLaren SP liveries on track, they will see how unique the collaboration with UNDEFEATED is. The Indianapolis 500 is the most special moment of the year for the entire team and these custom liveries just take it up a notch.”

Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver, No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, said:

“I can’t wait to get back to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Arrow McLaren SP, this time with an UNDEFEATED design on the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. This partnership is close to home for me because my cousin was part of the design process with James [Bond]. To be able to drive a car that I know was designed by family, that’s special.”

Felix Rosenqvist, Driver, No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet said:

“I am really excited for UNDEFEATED to return to the team this year for the Indianapolis 500 after last year’s successful partnership with Vuse on the No. 7 car. I loved how unique my car was last year and I think it will be even better this year to have three UNDEFEATED-designed cars on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I have enjoyed getting to know James [Bond] and the team at UNDEFEATED and look forward to working closer with them.”

Montoya Returns to 500 with AMSP

From Arrow McLaren SP:

Juan Pablo Montoya, Arrow McLaren SP and Mission Foods will team up for a second consecutive year, with the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion competing in the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet for both the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Montoya will again join full-time Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist to complete the team’s lineup for the Month of May.  
 
Montoya returns to Arrow McLaren SP after competing for the team last year, finishing ninth in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. This year will see him attempt to qualify for his seventh entry into the race, having competed six times in his career, including winning as a rookie in 2000 and again 15 years later in 2015.  
 
The MISSION brand will be represented on the No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and Montoya’s race suit during both races, as well as continuing to be featured on the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by O’Ward and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Rosenqvist. 

Mission Foods first partnered with Arrow McLaren SP in 2020 and the successful partnership continues to find new and exciting ways to activate and reach new consumers through the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. 
 
The 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on May 29, 2022 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Follow along with Arrow McLaren SP all season long on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube at @ArrowMcLarenSP.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver, No. 6 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet:  
 
“I’m excited to return to Indianapolis with Arrow McLaren SP and Mission, to once again compete in a race that holds a special place in my heart – the Indianapolis 500. I had a great experience with the team last year and look forward to building on the progress we made in 2021. I think we have a real shot at competing at the front of the field and challenging for the win.” 
 
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing: 
 
“We’re delighted to have both Juan Pablo and Mission Foods back for another Indianapolis 500. Juan Pablo is an institution in motorsport, with two Indianapolis 500 victories and an impressive Formula 1 career with multiple wins for McLaren. He adds experience that really benefits our team, giving us another driver with the potential to win anytime he steps into the car.” 
 
Juan Gonzalez, Mission Foods Chief Executive Officer: 
 
“We are thrilled to partner again with Juan Pablo Montoya and Arrow McLaren SP for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The Indianapolis 500 and Juan Pablo are legendary to racing and loved by race fans everywhere. It’s an honor for our brand to align with icons like these.”

McLaren Completes Agreement to Acquire Majority Share of AMSP

Image from McLaren

A press release from McLaren this morning:

29 November

McLaren Racing confirms today that it has completed the agreement to acquire the majority shareholding in the Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team by the end of the year.

The conclusion of the agreement means that McLaren Racing will become the majority shareholder in the team with a controlling 75% stake, with Arrow McLaren SP to formally be part of the McLaren Racing organisation.

The team will be governed by a five-person board, comprising three McLaren Racing appointees, Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson and will be chaired by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.

Taylor Kiel, President of Arrow McLaren SP, will be accountable to Brown and the board for the overall operations and performance of the team.

Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

ENDS 

About McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966, since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 grands prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt and the Indianapolis 500 three times. McLaren Racing currently competes in Formula 1 globally and INDYCAR in the US. 

The team is contesting the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and in the 2021 INDYCAR Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. McLaren was the first F1 team to be certified carbon neutral ten years ago and has successfully retained the Carbon Trust Standard Award, most recently in February 2021. They were also the first team to be awarded the FIA Institute’s Environmental Award in 2013, which they have consistently maintained at three-star level.

In 2022, McLaren Racing will enter a new category of motorsport when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road racing series that highlights the impact of climate change.

About Arrow McLaren SP 

Arrow McLaren SP represents three determined entities – Arrow Electronics, McLaren Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – who joined forces at the end of 2019 in a strategic partnership with a clear aim: to compete for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship and the Indianapolis 500. 

Arrow McLaren SP fields two cars in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES: the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Pato O’Ward; and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet piloted by Felix Rosenqvist. The team also fielded Juan Pablo Montoya in the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at @ArrowMcLarenSP and online at http://www.arrowmclarensp.com

Rosenqvist Cleared to Drive, Will Race at Mid Ohio

From Arrow McLaren SP Twitter account:

Felix Rosenqvist has been cleared to drive by the INDYCAR Medical Team and will return to pilot the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet this weekend for the Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. https://t.co/3R6p88evvQ

The team and driver expressed appreciation to Dr. Billows and the Indycar medical team for their help in Felix’s recovery.

The Honda Indy 200 is it n NBC Sunday at noon Eastern time.

Magnussen in for Rosenqvist at Road America

Former Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen (above) will drive the number 7 Arrow McLaren SP car for the injured Felix Rosenqvist this weekend at Road America. Rosenqvist suffered injuries in a crash during the first race last Saturday in Detroit. Road America will be the second race Rosenqvist will miss.

Magnussen drove for McLaren and Haas in F1. He currently drives for Chip Ganassi Racing in IMSA as one of the drivers of the DPi Cadillac team. Magnussen’s team won the IMSA race at Detroit last Saturday.

The team’s announcement on Twitter:

Following an evaluation by the INDYCAR Medical Team, Felix Rosenqvist has not been cleared to race at this weekend’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America.

Felix Rosenqvist

Felix will continue to be supported by the team as he progresses in his recovery… https://t.co/nVFcXB7PFF

Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his INDYCAR debut. Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2014, including a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix that year. https://t.co/deZpO5a6E7

Felix will be replaced for the REV Group Grand Prix by Kevin Magnussen, who will be making his INDYCAR debut. Magnussen made 19 starts for the McLaren Formula 1 team in 2014, including a career-best finish of second at the Australian Grand Prix that year. https://t.co/deZpO5a6E7

O’Ward Powers Through to Pole at Barber

Photo: Pato O’Ward by Joe Skibinski, Indycar

Pato O’Ward began his title quest by winning the pole for the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park. The Mexican driver in his second full time Indycar season set a track record in round 2 on the way to the first starting spot for tomorrow’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. O’Ward led the round of 12 with record lap of 1:05.5019.

Qualifying began five minutes late after a power outage postponed the USF2000 series second race. The race ran after Indycar qualifying.

O’Ward earlier this year declared his intention to have his Arrow Mclaren SP Chevy contend for the series title, and today gave credence to his goal. In two practice sessions and two qualifying rounds where some top drivers had issues, O’Ward stayed focused on the task at hand. He also had to survive the more difficult qualifying group.

Alexander Rossi will start on the outside of row 1. Rossi led the second practice session earlier in the day. He abandoned his usual qualifying strategy when he is a pole contender. Instead of waiting to get in one hot lap as time runs out, Rossi was one of the first two cars out at the start of the Fast Six. He stayed out the entire time. Will Power was the first car out for the final round. Power’s tires seemed to fade as could not improve his times from early in the session.

James Hinchcliffe slid into the tire barrier in turn 5 causing a red flag in the second group. The round restarted with just a bit more than 4 minutes left. As time ran out, Felix Rosenqvist went off track in the final turn. He lost a spot in the final round for affecting another driver’s lap.

Notes

Rookies Scott McLaughlin and Romain Grosjean advanced to the second round. Grosjean finished second in his group, and McLaughlin was fourth. Grosjean starts seventh tomorrow and McLaughlin will roll off twelfth.

I can’t remember the last time Chip Ganassi Racing had three cars in the Fast Six. Alex Palou led the first practice session, and Marcus Ericsson had an impressive qualifying. Scott Dixon begins his title defense from fifth place.

The biggest surprise in qualifying was Josef Newgarden finishing eighth. He usually does very well here. Starting position is generally a big factor in the race results at Barber.

I think we will see a first career win tomorrow, but it may not necessarily be Pato O’Ward. Alex Palou looked very strong all day.

Results