Three days following the conclusion of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season, the future fates for both Felix Rosenqvist and Alex Palou were revealed. For Rosenqvist, he will be remaining as a full-time driver for Arrow McLaren SP and be part of the team’s three-car expansion for next season. Palou, meanwhile, will continue to pilot the No 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.
The news comes following a summer-long swirl highlighting both competitors and organizations that started in July when Palou initially disputed the news of CGR retaining him for 2023 by announcing his intentions of joining McLaren in 2023. Palou’s news of being placed as an option for McLaren prompted Ganassi to file a civil action lawsuit against the Spaniard who won the 2021 IndyCar championship in Ganassi’s No. 10 entry, which lasted throughout the summer. The contract dispute between Palou and CGR also began to affect Rosenqvist’s future with McLaren and AMSP, in spite of the Swedish competitor signing a contract extension to remain at McLaren, but with no specific series announced.
With the news on Wednesday that Palou and CGR have reached a resolution to their contract dispute, Rosenqvist, who also appeared to be remaining in IndyCar with McLaren for next season, will compete in his third season for AMSP in 2023. The news means that Rosenqvist completes AMSP’s three-driver lineup that includes Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi, who was announced to be joining the organization in June while being replaced at Andretti Autosport by Kyle Kirkwood.
“There’s no better way to enter the off-season than with this news!” Rosenqvist said. “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!”
Rosenqvist, who last visited Victory Lane in the IndyCar circuit since Road America in July 2020, is coming off a strong 2022 campaign, where he finished in eighth place in the final drivers’ standings with 393 points on the strength of two poles and his maiden podium with McLaren after finishing third at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, Canada, in July. He also piloted the No. 7 AMSP Dallara-Chevrolet to a total of 10 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 11.8 throughout the 17-race schedule. His eighth-place result in this year’s final standings marked an improvement of 13 spots from the previous season, where he finished no higher than sixth place on the track and missed two races in June following a hard accident during the first of a Belle Isle Street Circuit doubleheader feature on Saturday, June 12. His 2021 average-finishing result was 16.4.
“I’m delighted that Felix will again be racing with AMSP through 2023,” Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, added. “He had a strong 2022 season, and I look forward to seeing what he, Alex Rossi and Pato O’Ward can do when they join forces in papaya. It’s also great to have Alex Palou joining the McLaren Racing family in our Testing of Previous Cars programme.”
For Palou, the 2023 season will also mark his third campaign with Chip Ganassi Racing. The Spaniard, who won the 2021 IndyCar title with Ganassi on the strength of his first three career victories, capped off the 2022 season by capturing his first elusive checkered flag of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The victory along with six podiums, 173 laps led and an average-finishing result of 8.0 throughout the 17-race schedule were enough for Palou to conclude the season in fifth place in the final standings despite tying Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin for fourth place with 510 points.
Following the news, Palou, who will still participate in a McLaren F1 testing session at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain this week, took to social media to confirm his racing plans for next season.
With both drivers’ plans for next season set, they turn their attention to contend for the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series championship. The 2023 schedule remains to be determined.