Alexander Rossi believes that McLaren’s inclusion in the IndyCar field will boost the prospect of drivers gaining a Formula 1 opportunity.
McLaren has been present on the IndyCar grid for the last handful of years, with Rossi taking up a seat with the team for the 2023 season.
Last year, McLaren created a strong link between F1 and IndyCar as it handed FP1 outings to Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou, while Colton Herta took part in a private test.
Rossi, who has five F1 race starts to his name, believes that the entire IndyCar grid will benefit from McLaren’s attention to the series.
“Because they have feet on the ground, if you will, in this championship, they will have a very direct understanding of people’s performance,” Rossi told RACER.
“They’ll know the equipment that they’re in, they’ll know the race that they did something special, or they’ll know a qualifying session that they’ll be able to very easily analyse it because they’re actively involved.
“It’s a lot harder when you have a Sauber or Alfa Romeo that’s looking at an IndyCar race and looking at a driver and not really knowing was that season that they had a result of incredible driver performance, or was it a result of they got really fortunate in a couple of situations that set them up for a championship contention? It’s harder to know when you’re not involved.
“So I do think that having McLaren and how closely connected the F1 team and IndyCar team is, it’ll definitely bridge that gap.
“And most likely give guys an opportunity, if it’s deserved, that doesn’t necessarily mean it comes from within the organisation.
“If there’s someone that’s doing something incredibly special, that’s beating all of us, it’s a small world and that news will travel rather quickly.”
Driver switches from IndyCar to F1 are not regular occurrences – however last year, Herta was heavily linked with a move to AlphaTauri with the lack of a Superlicence halting his chances.