‘I will decide with Zak’: McLaren driver clears up contractual confusion

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown will have some tough choices to make over the next couple of years.

Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar driver, Felix Rosenqvist, has assured that he does indeed have a contract with McLaren beyond this season.

It was reported back in June that Rosenqvist, who signed with McLaren’s American single seater project last year, has extended his deal with the side for 2023 and beyond.

This did not restrict him to IndyCar, nor did it mean that he was necessarily destined to go elsewhere, but there are options for him.

READ: McLaren driver signs multi-year contract extension

McLaren’s Extreme E project could become available to the Swede in the coming years, and the Woking-based company have also dipped their toes into the world’s first electric racing series – Formula E.

They have agreed to take over from the Mercedes EQ team ahead of season 10, likely meaning that Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne – who themselves were previously part of the McLaren Formula 1 team – will be looking for alternative drives.

It is as yet unknown whether Zak Brown intends to add either of them to his driver pool, but this pool enables Brown to pick and choose who races where.

However, there are only so many seats available in motorsport, and only so many series that McLaren are involved with, so they naturally cannot accommodate that many racers.

They are currently looking at Andretti’s Colton Herta to possibly replace the struggling Daniel Ricciardo in 2024, which would add another driver to their roster.

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Now, Oscar Piastri seems keen on a move there for next season having turned down Alpine, for whom he is currently a test and reserve driver.

Chip Ganassi racer Alex Palou has been added to the list for next year, and he has made it clear that he too is looking to gain some experience in the pinnacle of motorsport as a result of his McLaren links.

The British team have tested Formula 2 driver – and Red Bull junior – Jehan Daruvala in recent months, and it all led to speculation that Rosenqvist had been nudged out.

This contradicted the previous announcement that he had indeed put pen to paper on a new deal, so the Swede has moved to stop that speculation and set the record straight.

In a statement, he said that any suggestion he does not have a deal for 2023 “is not true, I do.”

The former Formula E driver with Mahindra recently scored a podium in Toronto for McLaren, and he maintains that he wants to stay in the American series.

“I have a great relationship with Zak Brown and McLaren and they have always been very transparent and fair with me,” added Rosenqvist.

“I understand Zak has some tough business decisions to make and holds an option my services for next season. I stand by what we announced in June. 

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“However, since then, I feel I have found my form in IndyCar and have made my desire clear to Zak in recent weeks to remain in IndyCar.”

His intention to remain with the IndyCar team does not mean that he has no interest of returning to the all-electric series though.

“That doesn’t mean I’m not excited about Formula E as it is a great championship that I have competed in successfully,” explained Rosenqvist.

“I recognize there is a lot of speculation at the moment about many drivers and where they will be next season, all I want to do is focus on my IndyCar racing the balance of this year. 

“Whatever my future holds I will decide with Zak.”

Rosenqvist is currently ninth in the IndyCar standings, with team-mate Patricio O’Ward two positions ahead.