Earlier in the week, Arrow McLaren SP confirmed the news that had been rumored for some time that Alexander Rossi would be joining the team in 2023.
Rossi will end his seven-year stead at Andretti Autosport at the end of this season, and will begin preparing to work with his new team at the conclusion of the finale from Laguna Seca.
Speaking ahead of the Detroit Grand Prix, team president Taylor Kiel elaborated on the team’s decision to hire Rossi over the other drivers that were available.
“It’s pretty simple,” said Kiel. “Alex has a fantastic resume. He’s a good fit for our organization. In the short amount of time I’ve known him, I’ve got no doubts that he’s certainly going to elevate what we’re doing as a great team-mate and a great driver for our team.
“It’s really a no-brainer for us. We’re trying to elevate on track, off track, and bring in the best talent that we can. This is proof of that.
“It’s been a goal of ours to expand to three entries, and bringing Alex on board automatically makes that a contender. That’s the goal for us, is not to detract from the other two [cars].
“Bringing Alex in, and the team we’re going to build around him, is very exciting for me. It gives us three great opportunities every week to compete for win. It ticks all the boxes in my opinion.”
Rossi revealed that he knew he would be leaving Andretti Autosport as early as the middle of last season, with his struggling performance leading to the need for a change in scenery.
The deal with AMSP started becoming more clear this season, and both he and the team felt the time was right to announce the deal despite more than half the 2022 season yet to be run.
Rossi’s new team was able to see through his mediocre results of late, and is banking on the 30-year-old’s skill behind the wheel to come to the fore once again.
“I don’t particularly consider the last two years being indicative of what Alex can bring to the table from a performance point of view,” continued Kiel. “He’s always had the pace. One thing or another has cost him race day results.
“What I do see is that he’s a determined, very focused driver that has had a lot of results. I don’t believe that you can just wake up one day and magically lose all your talent. I feel very strongly about the fact that if we give Alex all the tools he needs to succeed, then he will.”