The 2022 IndyCar season was dominated by two teams, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing. Those two teams combined for the top 6 spots in the final championship standings and accounted for 13 of the 17 wins on the season. The other 4 wins came from Pato O’Ward, Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta. Rossi will join a three car confirmed effort in 2023 with O’Ward while Felix Rosenqvist will stay with Arrow McLaren SP.
With one of the best social media efforts in the paddock, Arrow McLaren SP has risen in popularity in the series over the last several seasons. At any given race track on the calendar, Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist get massive ovations during intros and have the longest lines at IndyCar autograph sessions. Add an Indy 500 champion in Alexander Rossi, who yes, does have a fun personality despite not being a fan of speaking to the media much, the team is set to sail to new heights in 2023.
A big social media presence is great, but the team is set up to make a massive move to join Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing as teams to beat not only in the IndyCar championship but the Indianapolis 500 as well. Taylor Kiel has guided the ship, taking Arrow McLaren SP to four wins with Pato O’Ward since O’Ward joined the team in 2020. O’Ward was the series best driver in 2022 on ovals, scoring a win at Iowa and the most points on ovals. He was runner up at the Indianapolis 500 after a 4th place run in 2021.
Despite not knowing where he would be in 2023 for over half the season this year, Felix Rosenqvist still had a respectable year, finishing 8th in the final standings. 5 of his final 6 races resulted in Top 10 finishes to go along with a podium and two poles in 2022. It was a significant improvement over his first year at Arrow McLaren SP, a season that saw zero Top 5 results and only two finishes inside the Top 10. Felix will be a free agent at the end of 2023 season, so the motivation will be there, can the results be as well, I think so.
Adding Alexander Rossi to the arsenal makes the team in my opinion the third best on the grid for 2023. Rossi won the second IndyCar road course race in dominating fashion back in July, despite a water bottle issue. Rossi secured three podium finishes and a pole position in 2022, breaking out of a two year slump that only produced 6 podiums and 85 laps led in 2020 and 2021. Rossi hasn’t been a factor at the Indy 500 since 2019, with Chevy power under his belt and a team that has finished inside the top 10 five times in the last three Indianapolis 500’s, Rossi should return to the form we saw in the late 2010’s.
All in all, 2023 has the potential to be a great season for Arrow McLaren SP. I don’t believe a fourth car at Indy will happen next season, but putting the best oval driver over the last two years with a hungry former Indy 500 champion and a driver that is once again racing for a contract, look out for some awesome liveries atop the scoring pylon in 2023. The team chemistry should be there from the get go as well. O’Ward and Rosenqvist have proven over social media all season how close of pals they are, add in Rossi with F1 experience and one of the best brains in the paddock, this team will contend for plenty of race wins in 2023.
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