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McLaren's crucial link between F1 and IndyCar, thinks Rossi: 'They know us'

McLaren's crucial link between F1 and IndyCar, thinks Rossi: 'They know us'

09-01-2023 14:52 Last update: 16:18


Alexander Rossi thinks McLaren's presence in IndyCar offers perspective for drivers looking to make the switch to Formula 1. In an interview with Racer the IndyCar driver indicated that McLaren could be the crucial link between the two competitions.

Until 2023, Rossi was the last American to race in Formula 1. In 2015, he made a few appearances for Marussia. These days, Rossi is under contract with McLaren to drive for that team in IndyCar competition. McLaren is currently the only team represented in both classes. So last season, the F1 side of McLaren took advantage of that unique position by putting no less than three IndyCar drivers in one car: Colton Herta drove a practice day and Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward both came out for McLaren during free practice on a race weekend.

Connection did not lead to permanent contract

However, a permanent move to Formula 1 was not in the cards for any of the three, although Palou will be ready for McLaren as a reserve driver in 2023. Moving from IndyCar to Formula 1 remains difficult. However, according to Rossi, McLaren's presence does offer hope that this will be easier in the future.

“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 explained.

"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 analyze 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?"

"So I do think that having McLaren and how closely connected the F1 team and IndyCar team is, it’ll definitely bridge that gap," Rossi continued.

"And most likely give guys an opportunity, if it’s deserved, that doesn’t necessarily mean it comes from within the organization. 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.”