McLaren could sign other drivers to a more flexible contract across its different racing teams in future after Felix Rosenqvist’s latest deal.
The Swede has been signed for 2023 but McLaren has yet to decide whether he will be part of its IndyCar or Formula E line-ups, leaning on his flexibility and skill across both categories. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says that could be an approach that is also used with other drivers depending on their individual situations.
“I think on a case-by-case basis,” Brown said. “It made sense with the current situation we’re in now and Felix being able to win in both series. So I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a way forward, it’s just an option based on who the driver is and what series we’re in and where we might have openings.”
Speaking at the announcement of the title partnership with Neom and McLaren’s electric racing teams, Brown says he’s no closer to working out where Rosenqvist will race as he assess the options among available drivers.
“No progress yet, ultimately we’re trying to put the best driver line-ups across all of our racing activities. We’re expanding to three cars in IndyCar, Felix is unique because he’s won in IndyCar and he’s won in Formula E so he can race in either.
“So it’s really dependent upon either who our other IndyCar driver is or who our other Formula E driver is that we’ll then go ‘This is the best line-ups we can put together across our Formula 1, IndyCar, Formula E, and Extreme E’, and that’s why we’re undecided yet where we want to put him. It’s really based upon what’s our best line-ups we can put together across that.”
While the Formula E team will take over the Mercedes effort – including team principal Ian James – Brown says doing the same with drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries wasn’t possible.
“No, they’re all up to something else. I could spoil it for them but I’ll let them do that!”