Felix Rosenqvist is looking ahead to this year’s IndyCar season, and believes his new team and the upcoming, street course-heavy schedule tap into his strengths as a driver.
The Swede has become known as a bit of a street course specialist, bolstered by his winning of three races during his two seasons behind the wheel in Formula E, which runs almost exclusively on converted public roads.
When Rosenqvist subsequently transitioned to IndyCar in 2019, he more than held his own in his first ever race on the streets of St. Petersburg, leading nearly one-third of the laps and finishing just off the podium on debut.
Last season’s highly-adapted schedule meant that many of the other street circuits were removed from the calendar, leaving St. Pete as the only street course of the year.
But this year, with the addition of a new venue in downtown Nashville, there are five planned races on public roads, and the 29-year-old is ready to take advantage of the situation.
“I struggle to find any real weaknesses for me in this year’s calendar,” said Rosenqvist. “Let’s hope all the street races can go ahead – if so, it will be a season of much fun!
“I think the Nashville event has the potential of becoming an instant classic. It has all the right ingredients for a great street race.
“I have not been able to drive the track yet [on the simulator], but we will eventually and I think the layout looks fantastic.”
The new circuit is not the only thing that’s different for the 2021 season, as Rosenqvist has left Chip Ganassi Racing to join Arrow McLaren SP for its sophomore season in the sport.
His new team-mate Pato O’Ward was able to earn four podiums in last year’s shortened season, even sharing the stage with Rosenqvist when he earned his first victory in the NTT IndyCar series at Road America. Now on the same team, the duo will be pushing for a number of race wins to add to the their accomplishments.
Even though there are still 11 weeks to go until the season-opener from Barber Motorsports Park, Rosenqvist’s preparations alongside his new crew are well underway.
“I think I’ve settled into the team in a very natural way,” continued Rosenqvist. “We’ve spent quite a lot of time together since our first test back in November.
“It’s a down-to-earth group of people who certainly focus extremely hard on what they do, but who also know the importance of chilling out and having fun in between. I appreciate that mindset a lot.
“I really enjoy it here, and I think we’re all equally keen on taking Arrow McLaren SP to the next level.”
Rosenqvist will get behind the wheel for the first time of the year at a private test session next week at Sebring Raceway. Following that, there will only be a couple more test days allowed before the 2021 season gets underway in mid-April.