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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

IndyCar 2023 season evaluate: Arrow McLaren

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#5 – Pato O’Ward, 4th within the championship standings (484 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 7 podiums, 9 prime fives, 14 prime 10s, 0 poles, 13 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: 2nd (St. Petersburg, Texas, IMS Street Course – Race 1, Gateway)
  • Finest Begin: 2nd (Street America, Nashville)

#7 – Alexander Rossi, ninth within the championship standings (375 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 1 podium, 6 prime fives, 11 prime 10s, 0 poles, 3 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: third (IMS Street Course – Race 1)
  • Finest Begin: third (Texas, IMS Street Course – Race 2)

#6 – Felix Rosenqvist, twelfth within the championship standings (324 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 2 podiums, 4 prime fives, 8 prime 10s, 2 poles, 6 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: 2nd (Portland)
  • Finest Begin: 1st (Texas, Laguna Seca)

#66 – Tony Kanaan, thirty second in championship standings (18 factors) – 1 race

  • 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 prime fives, 0 prime 10s, 0 poles, 0 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: sixteenth (Indianapolis 500)
  • Finest Begin: ninth (Indianapolis 500)

Joey Barnes: I’d picture there’s a mix of frustration and encouragement about 2023 for Arrow McLaren. There was no journey to Victory Lane, however there have been quite a few close to misses that give a way the organisation is true on the cusp of a significant breakout.

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Contemplate that Pato O’Ward certified among the many prime six spots in 13 of 17 rounds and captured seven podiums. There was the bizarre mechanical glitch at St. Petersburg that confirmed up within the last laps that gave one away to start out the yr, which actually set the tone. One other win glided by the wayside within the finale at Laguna Seca, too. The Mexican was furiously fast within the Indianapolis 500 earlier than a late tried move on Marcus Ericsson for the runner-up spot with eight laps to go ended within the Flip 3 wall. By the measure of consistency, it was O’Ward’s greatest season but and enduring these experiences ought to solely assist shut the hole transferring ahead.

Alexander Rossi’s first yr with the group ended with a good 11 prime 10s, solely three lower than O’Ward. Usually the California native was on the cost, however often due to qualifying performances that have been much less desired as he solely began within the prime six on three events. If that quantity doubles – or extra – in 2024, it’ll be a big step nearer to being the championship contender everybody turned aware of.

It has been beautiful to see the misfortune that struck Felix Rosenqvist throughout his time with Arrow McLaren, and 2023 was a continuation of that. One other pole at Texas ended with one other subject for a second consecutive yr. He was within the thick of the battle to win the Indianapolis 500 earlier than getting caught out – and crashing – within the wake of eventual winner Josef Newgarden. The beginning at Mid-Ohio noticed fellow Swede Marcus Ericsson collide and climb over his automotive, leaving tyre marks on the aeroscreen of his No. 6 Chevrolet.

The general outcomes by no means matched the promise of tempo regularly, however the late season runner-up at Portland and pole within the season finale put a contented ending to their chapter collectively. Rosenqvist will drive for Meyer Shank Racing in 2024, with David Malukas introduced in as his substitute at Arrow McLaren.

The largest motive I take a Positive view with a win-less 2023 for Arrow McLaren is the truth that it was the organisation’s first yr with Gavin Ward on the helm as group principal, whereas additionally increasing to a few full-time entries and bolstering the workers by 40%. If these outcomes are the inspiration, that’s one hell of a excessive flooring.

Picture by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Nick Degroot: Zero wins in 2023 for McLaren. Pato O’Ward scored extra podiums than any driver in addition to the champion, main 187 laps, and ending the yr fourth within the factors standings. And but, it simply by no means got here collectively for him on race day.

Alexander Rossi and Felix Rosenqvist discovered the rostrum in some unspecified time in the future in the course of the yr, however underperformed for probably the most half. All three of those drivers are confirmed race winners, so what’s McLaren lacking? They’ve the sources and the expertise, each behind the wheel and on the pitwall.

But, it appeared like they have been all the time getting bested by others on technique, or simply lacked race-winning tempo. Indy was a large missed alternative, as O’Ward was once more in a powerful place to win the five hundred however ended up crashing out late.

Regardless of the winless yr, I would not name 2023 a failure for McLaren. They’re so near turning into a real risk to titans like Ganassi and Penske, and have now strengthened their driver line-up with the addition of David Malukas for 2024. If they will simply clear issues up a bit, they are going to be a continuing risk for wins, and the title as effectively.

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