Alexander Rossi will drive Arrow McLaren SP from next season under a multi-year contract

Alexander Rossi confirmed on Thursday has signed a multi-year contract to drive Arrow McLaren SP from next season after a seven-year drive with Andretti Autosport.

Rossi’s departure has been widely speculated since April, although both the American rider and Michael Andretti insisted on having an exclusive negotiation window in which Rossi could not even talk to any other teams.

This contradicted Andretti’s February admission that he would only hold this clause to Rossi “unless he finds something else.” It turned out that Rossi had really decided to leave Andretti before the start of the IndyCar season, and Thursday’s confirmation was possible. when Andretti announced the day before that Kyle Kirkwood would drive Rossi’s number 27 next season.

Rossi won the Indy 500 as a rookie in 2016, the first of seven victories with Andretti. Californian is in the middle of an almost three-year series without a victory.

“It’s time for a new challenge with a team that is growing in the sport,” Rossi said in a statement. “I look forward to contributing to the development of Arrow McLaren SP and helping them reach the top. I see the commitment that this team has to each other and to me, and I look forward to starting. It’s time for me to race for another of motorsport’s biggest names: McLaren. “

Rossi and Taylor Kiel, president of the IndyCar McLaren team, are due to discuss signing a contract at the Detroit Grand Prix on Friday. McLaren has taken over majority ownership of the IndyCar team this season and plans to expand to three cars and build a state-of-the-art plant in Indiana that mimics its Formula 1 plant in England.

Pato O’Ward was notified of the extension last Friday with McLaren, but his plans for third place were not revealed. McLaren did not specify whether Rossi would drive his planned expanded third car in 2023 or replace Felix Rosenqvist at number 7. Rosenqvist is in a contract year.

“Alex is a proven race winner and Indianapolis 500 champion who shares our desire to win,” said Zak Brown, head of McLaren Racing. “It is essential that we place the right talents, both inside and outside the car, so that we can compete as a team for championships and race victories. He’s someone we’ve been following for a while, and we’re excited to see what he does as part of Arrow McLaren SP. “

Alexander Rossi will drive Arrow McLaren SP from next season under a multi-year contract originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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