‘I'm just excited about being quick again’ - Rosenqvist

Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images

‘I'm just excited about being quick again’ - Rosenqvist

IndyCar

‘I'm just excited about being quick again’ - Rosenqvist

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Felix Rosenqvist has heard the rumors. He knows his No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP seat could be filled by someone new next season, and that’s why he’s doing everything in his power to hold onto the coveted drive.

His teammate Pato O’Ward has a new contract extension in hand and he knows Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi is inbound for AMSP’s upcoming expansion to three cars, and if it weren’t already obvious, the Swede is trying to send a single message to McLaren CEO Zak Brown and AMSP president Taylor Kiel about who should remain in 2023 and beyond.

“I want to stay here,” Rosenqvist told RACER. “I want to stay with McLaren. I think everything that’s going on, it’s definitely pushing me in the right direction, though. I’m able to convert it into performing, which has been evident at the last couple of races.”

A solid sixth on the Indianapolis road course was followed by a big fourth at the Indy 500, and while it might not have made a lot of waves, Rosenqvist put in an epic drive from 25th to 10th last weekend at Detroit. Coming off of some tough results to open the year, he’s risen to ninth in the championship entering Road America.

“I knew when the season started, I was gonna have to do well this year to keep my seat,” he said. “That was just the simple fact. The way the year started, obviously, it was very disappointing but now we’ve finally got momentum and I’m just excited about that. I’m driving my ass off to show that I want to be here, and I’m just excited about being quick again — fighting for poles and wins is what I’m used to. It’s just been so much fun that I’m literally blocking out everything else about the future and trying to make big things happen here at Road America. The last time I was here I won, so I’m feeling good. It’s a weird time with the contract stuff, but I’m feeling good about it.”

Rosenqvist and his No. 7 crew have kicked their performance up a notch in recent races. Michael Levitt/Motorsport Images

Rosenqvist and the No. 7 team, along with O’Ward and his No. 5 crew, are turning into the 1-2 punch AMSP envisioned for its tandem. It’s the promise shown this year that has the 30-year-old veteran pushing to extend his contract. He says it’s an interesting position to be in with needing to perform on the weekends while chasing a direction on whether his future will be at AMSP or another team.

“I think you have to put on the contract negotiation hat on Monday, and then on Thursday, you have to put on the helmet and do your normal job,” he added. “Obviously, I have my manager Stefan [Johansson] and we’re talking to Zak every day and I think we’re having good conversations. I’m not really worried about anything weird going on behind my back; I trust him genuinely. That’s also been a good feeling. He likes me and he trusts me and he thinks I’m good. And the team does as well. The situation could have been a lot more difficult if that wasn’t the case.

“We are having a lot of fun — the 7 car has just become so solid in every aspect: the engineering, the pit stops. We’re all confident in what we can do together. If you have that, which we do, then that’s the most important thing. All the rest will sort itself out.”

MX-5 Cup | Watkins Glen – Round 8

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