Alexander Rossi, Andretti, IndyCar, Sebring, 2022

Rossi to join McLaren SP in 2023 after signing multi-year deal


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Alexander Rossi will join McLaren SP for 2023 following his departure from Andretti, which was announced yesterday.

The seven-time IndyCar race winner will join McLaren’s team and race alongside Patricio O’Ward, who recently signed a contract extension with the team until the end of the 2025 IndyCar championship.

Former Manor F1 driver Rossi has raced with the Andretti team since joining the series during the 2016 season. He won the 100th edition of the Indianapolis 500 as a rookie that year.

The American driver has claimed a further six race victories in IndyCar since his Indy 500 win, the most recent coming at Road America in the 2019 season. He currently sits in 11th place in the IndyCar standings, on 141 points.

Rossi says he is looking forward to racing for “another one of motorsport’s biggest names – McLaren.”

“First, I want to thank everyone at Andretti Autosport for an incredible seven years,” Rossi said. “It has been a great ride with an awesome team, and it has been an honour to race for the Andretti name and for Michael for so long.

“The time has come for a new challenge, with a team that is growing in the sport. I look forward to contributing to the development of McLaren SP and helping them reach the top. I see the commitment this team has to each other and to me, and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

McLaren Racing president Zak Brown described Rossi as a “proven race winner” and said the 30-year-old “shares our desire to win.”

“It is essential that we put the right talent in place, both inside and outside the car, so we can consistently compete for championships and race wins as a team,” said Brown.

“He is someone we have had our eye on for some time and we’re excited to see what he’ll do as a part of McLaren SP.”

The future of McLaren SP’s current driver, Felix Rosenqvist, is yet to be confirmed. However, Brown has previously indicated that he would like McLaren’s IndyCar programme to grow to three full-time entries by the 2023 season.


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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “Rossi to join McLaren SP in 2023 after signing multi-year deal”

  1. What on Earth, they signed Rossi?!?
    Rossi has been on a serious downslide in the last 2-3 of years. After the great 2018 and 2019 seasons something hasn’t been right.

    2018 – 2nd in championship – 8 podiums with 3 wins
    2019 – 3rd in championship – 7 podiums with 2 wins
    2020 – 9th in championship – 4 podiums
    2021 – 10th in championship – 1 podium
    2022 – 11th in championship right now

    It’s odd. Alexander has also been doing the 24h of Daytona and other occasional IMSA races in the past 4 years, but his results there were excellent (although I don’t know how much that was attributed to his own performance as he had co-drivers).

    1. I was thinking the same, Zak knows something we don’t.

    2. I can’t say I follow Indy close enough, but I’d be curious to know how well his teammates did during that same period.

      As a casual fan, I’d always thought of Rossi as top tier talent.

      1. @ajpennypacker Rossi has 6 podiums since 2020 versus the non-Herta Andretti drivers 3 so while Rossi has performed badly compared to his 2017-19 form and Herta it’s not like the rest of the team has done much to impress either.

    3. Rossi is now mclaren’s best driver.

    4. Yes, Rossi has been on a slide, but at McLaren SP Felix Rosenqvist has also underperformed lately. We’ll see if McLaren can field 3 cars or not, but I think Felix is not gonna get a new contract.

    5. You’d rate him over Pato?

  2. I saw the headline and briefly thought he was replacing Ricciardo!

    1. Maybe they should switch seats for a race or two. :)

  3. Would be interested to know who initiated this move in the first place. I suspect that Rossi was looking for a new start, saw Rosenqvist struggling and took a punt at making the switch work. Kudos if true as I reckon McLaren SP would have had plenty of people asking about that seat.

  4. There have been times over the last few seasons where he’s been the victim of bungled pit stops and odd race strategies. It was definitely time for a fresh start.

  5. Hopefully it works out for Rossi, I had a lot of hope for his Indy career after those first couple seasons, but it has tailed off a bit – not helped by Andretti being very poor operationally and also through his own driving errors. A fresh start and with Mclaren no less will hopefully give him fresh impetus to regain his form.

    1. It seemed like as soon as Herta arrived he became Andretti’s golden boy and Rossi’s results tailed off. Maybe it’s coincidence but maybe not. I hope the change of environment helps him get back to his best.

  6. I wonder if his deal includes a test ride in a McLaren F1 car.

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