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Rossi opens up on Arrow McLaren IndyCar split, future team uncertain

The 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner will depart McLaren squad at the end of this season and find a new home in IndyCar for 2025

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Alexander Rossi says he is at peace with the decision to leave Arrow McLaren after what will be a two-year stint at the conclusion of the 2024 IndyCar season.

On Tuesday, both Rossi and Arrow McLaren confirmed a mutual parting of ways, as the team also announced current Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver Christian Lundgaard as his replacement for next year in its #7 Chevrolet-powered entry.

The impending split is somewhat surprising considering Rossi only joined the team last season, after seven previous years with Andretti Global, and results appeared to be on an upward trend.

Even with an expanding programme that featured several new team members, the 32-year-old finished ninth in the 2023 standings and is currently just 10 points behind team-mate Pato O'Ward in seventh.

Speaking to Autosport, Rossi said the parting of ways was “not a negative thing” but found that “we just couldn’t find something that works for everyone”.

“This was the most business-oriented kind of negotiations I think I’ve had in this sport and that really is ultimately all it came down to,” the Californian explained.

“There wasn’t really enough in the middle ground that we felt that we could move forward from; it wasn’t from a lack of effort.

“That’s just the way that this sport, which at the end of the day is also very much a business, kind of works sometimes.

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Perry Nelson / Motorsport Images

“It’s not a negative thing. All of the conversations that I’ve had with the organisation have been positive, but we just couldn’t find something that works for everyone.”

Next season Arrow McLaren will partner O'Ward and Lundgaard with Nolan Siegel. The American was signed on a multi-year deal to replace Theo Pourchaire, who had been confirmed until the end of the season in the car initially earmarked for David Malukas before his pre-season mountain-biking injury.

Rossi stressed that he does not know yet where he will race next year and “there’s nothing locked down in an envelope somewhere”.

“We’re at different points in conversations with a couple of different people, but no, there’s no pen to paper or anything,” the 2018 championship runner-up said. 

He added: “You never want to be in August having these conversations.

“We’ve seen the past couple of years, this time of year is when things start to ramp up. We have quite a few conversations going on right now and that’s all very exciting.”

For Rossi, who has amassed eight career wins including the 2016 Indianapolis 500, there wasn’t one ingredient missing that has prevented the success desired when he joined in 2023.

The expansion of the organisation combined with him only having a previous understanding of how things were done at Andretti Global and Honda provided a steep learning curve for all involved, but he maintains “that’s for sure made me a better driver”.

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

“I thought there was only one way of doing things for seven years having only driven for one team and very quickly realised that’s not the case.

“I’ve been able to grow a lot on and off the track because of that and that’s only going to pay dividends for me in the future. 

“I don’t look back on any of these decisions with any sort of regret. It’s just a matter of not coming to terms and that’s the way that life and things go sometimes.”

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