Third Arrow McLaren SP car possible for 2022, definite for 2023

Zak Brown has confirmed that the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet team will be expanding to three full-time entries, possibly as soon as next season and definitely for 2023.

Third Arrow McLaren SP car possible for 2022, definite for 2023

This morning’s announcement that McLaren Racing will be acquiring a 75 percent stake in the Arrow McLaren SP team was followed by a press conference with McLaren CEO Zak Brown, AMSP team founder Sam Schmidt, team co-owner Ric Peterson, team president Taylor Kiel and Arrow CEO Mike Long.

In the course of his opening remarks, Brown said: “When you look to invest in a racing team, you look at its leadership, and I think Taylor’s done an outstanding job, so I think our job now is to give him and the team additional resources on and off the track to find another couple of tenths.

“I think the racing team is doing really really well, and hopefully we can help turbocharge and accelerate its growth.

“We would like to run another car in ’23 – possibly in ’22 if we an find the right combination. We very much look at the way Penske goes racing with all of their cars capable of winning, and that’s what we want to emulate.

“So if we can put that together for 2022, we certainly will, but we’ll definitely put it together for 2023.”

While Pato O’Ward is currently second in the championship, Felix Rosenqvist has struggled on road and street courses this year – until this weekend in Nashville. However, the 29-year-old Swede has a watertight contract and Brown confirmed that both drivers will be in AMSP-Chevrolets in 2022, so any additional drivers would be for an additional entry.

“Very happy with Pato and Felix, you’ll see them in our cars next year,” he said. “It’s just about getting the right package together. We have resources so the economics are not a concern. But we want to run three cars that can win races and compete for the championship.

“This is very much a driver championship as much as it is a team [championship] – that’s what makes it so exciting. So we have to make sure that we get the right pilot in the racecar, and there’s not a lot of them on the market.

“So we’ve got a very short list, and if we can land someone that we think is capable of winning we’ll go for it in ’22; if not, we’ll spend ’22 making sure we find the right driver for ’23. But we definitely want to be there with regards to ’23.”

Regarding when the team would need to pull the trigger on a third car for 2022, Kiel said: “Certainly the timeline is there. We see and feel it… The growth of this sport is putting a lot of pressure on getting the right people, making sure there are people available whenever you expand. So we’d definitely like to get something done sooner rather than later, but what’s most important is that it’s done right and in the right way.

“So we’re not rushing to put anything together – we don’t need to [run a third car], we’d like to.”

Whether he’d be inclined to take on a top Formula 2 driver who has no F1 opportunity, or going with someone who has IndyCar experience, Kiel said: “We’re evaluating people and the program generally, and the same goes for drivers. There’s good racing drivers all over the world so everything’s on the table. It’s down to us to identify those and make the best call.

“You’ve seen in our history we’ve pulled drivers from DTM, Indy Lights, all over the place, so we evaluate everything to try and find the right people.

“[An IndyCar veteran] can possibly speed up your development. But ultimately we’ve had success with rookies and young drivers in the series so I don’t think we need to be handcuffed to find someone within the paddock.”

On the subject of McLaren’s Formula 1 stars Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo taking part in the Indy 500, Brown replied: “They’d both like to do it, but they’re very focused on Formula 1. I think it’s exciting. The Formula 1 paddock really enjoys IndyCar, I know the IndyCar paddock very much enjoys Formula 1, so I think that’s something unique for our racing teams. Nothing in the immediate future but we’ll see.”

Juan Pablo Montoya drove a third Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet in this year's Indianapolis 500 and GP of Indianapolis.

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren to acquire majority stake in Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team

Previous article

McLaren to acquire majority stake in Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar team

Next article

Nashville IndyCar: Johnson’s 170mph spin and crash ends warm-up

Nashville IndyCar: Johnson’s 170mph spin and crash ends warm-up
Load comments
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021