The old line “If it wasn’t for bad luck, you know, I wouldn’t have no luck at all” from Albert King’s song “Born Under A Bad Sign” has turned into the anthem Felix Rosenqvist never wanted on his debut season with Arrow McLaren SP.
In a disappointing year alongside title contender Pato O’Ward, 2021 has become an experience to forget while Rosenqvist’s mired down in 21st in the drivers’ championship.
Although the race-winning product of Sweden might not know every record the Mississippi bluesman produced, there’s no doubt the driver of the No. 7 Chevy is ready to leave King’s music in the rearview and start anew next season with a happier hymn to sing.
“It’s been tough this year, and you just have to reset; there’s no reason to dwell on it, but eventually, it gets to you down mentally and you can lose a bit of confidence, for sure,” Rosenqvist told RACER in a candid insight into how a year’s worth of misfortune can weigh on a driver.
“I think that’s the biggest thing: The confidence only comes with results, and when you don’t have results for a long time, you stop believing a little bit in yourself.”
High expectations were held for Rosenqvist after moving to AMSP from the championship-winning Chip Ganassi Racing outfit. Although he’s had an exceptional number of lows, topped by a frightening crash that wasn’t of his making at Detroit, glimmers of hope emerged with an eighth-place run at Nashville and a season’s best Portland where he finished sixth. Sadly, last weekend’s run in Monterey was a reminder of the bad times that continue to linger.
“Overall, I think we made progress in the second half of the year,” he added. “Detroit was good until we crashed; it was actually a really good race up to that point, but then Laguna Seca was really bad again. It’s been tough but yeah, you just have to hang in there because if I start hanging my head, how would it look to all the people on the crew that’s working hard to make the car successful? You just have to be a good example, keep pushing, keep working hard, and you know it’s gonna turn around.”
Rosenqvist has one more chance to bring a positive end to the year with his first win or podium with AMSP.
“There’s nothing fun driving around knowing you can’t win a championship, but I feel this is a good opportunity to end on a high,” he said after posting the fourth-fastest lap of the day. “That’s going to be so important for us going into the winter, and I don’t want to end like we did in Laguna, which was probably possibly the worst race of my life. To end like that would just be a shame. So I feel this is a good opportunity. We know we can do a really good race and we can be up there for sure. There’s no reason to give up now. You fight until the end.”