2022 Writers’ Roundtable, Vol. 36: Palou-Rosenqvist Fallout?

As we speak’s query: What’s your largest takeaway from the announcement Sept. 14 that Alex Palou will stick with Chip Ganassi Racing and Felix Rosenqvist will stay with Arrow McLaren SP within the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season?

Curt Cavin: My take? This feels proper. Easy as that. I had been uplifted by the curiosity from different groups that Felix Rosenqvist has drawn in current weeks, and it appeared he had actually good choices for the 2023 season had he left McLaren, however that is the place he wanted to be and fairly frankly, it’s the place he deserved to be based mostly on his efficiency this season. Ask crew members, together with Pato O’Ward; they love him, and it’s straightforward to see why. As somebody who works within the sport, I can say Felix is likely one of the nicest males within the paddock, at all times a pleasure to talk with and somebody you possibly can root for. The saying that good issues occur to good individuals? Suits like a glove right here. As for Palou and CGR, all of us noticed what occurred at Laguna Seca. Sure, the brand new Honda engine seemingly performed a task of their 30-second dusting of the sector, however such drives occur when there may be synergy within the system, and it certain now appears to be like like they’d come to their glad place upfront of the season’s ultimate race weekend. So, let’s watch the magic occur with the ten automotive in 2023, and it ought to once more be a high championship contender, perhaps even an Indy 500 winner based mostly on how nicely they carried out the previous two years (second in 2021, taken out of rivalry by an premature warning flag this yr). As for the followers, I feel they’re the massive winners right here as a result of whereas some change within the driver lineup is attention-grabbing, an excessive amount of of it may be an excessive amount of. The 7 and 10 vehicles must be stronger with continuity and an offseason to concentrate on the areas they will enhance. The one draw back to right now’s information is that it delays the inevitable, as Palou absolutely shall be elsewhere in 2024, and Rosenqvist would possibly nicely be, as nicely. However let’s save that for one more day.

Arni Sribhen: After two months of Foolish Season theater, we’re proper again the place we began. Alex Palou is within the No. 10 Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, and Felix Rosenqvist stays in a Chevrolet-powered automotive for Arrow McLaren SP. These had been the strikes that made probably the most sense for each groups. Ganassi by no means needed to lose Palou – who received the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship and was in title rivalry for many of 2022. He confirmed that even with distractions, he was nonetheless an important a part of the crew. Although his kind dipped as soon as the battle for his companies started, he was the strongest of the 4 CGR vehicles at Portland and WeatherTech Raceway (Might he have already identified his 2023 plans?) As soon as Palou’s future was settled (both by a choose, crew attorneys or monetary association), the most effective match for Arrow McLaren SP was Rosenqvist – whose robust second half was sufficient to persuade Zak Brown and McLaren Racing to maintain the Swede alongside Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi. Everybody seemingly will get what they needed. Nicely, besides for individuals who needed one other storyline for the subsequent few weeks. Not less than the drama was enjoyable.

Paul Kelly: This contractual saga between Chip Ganassi Racing and Arrow McLaren SP had all of the makings this summer time of a Shakespearian tragedy, because it appeared for a second that Alex Palou is likely to be positioned on gardening go away for 2023, paid to not drive, and Felix Rosenqvist could also be flushed out of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES regardless of such a stable second-half efficiency. As a substitute, now that each drivers are staying put, I’ll as a substitute quote a title of a comedy by Outdated Invoice the Bard – “A lot Ado About Nothing.” All this angst, clashing egos and authorized charges, and we’re proper again the place we began. As Curt and Arni mentioned, this final result feels just like the mud settling in all the proper locations. I’m glad each drivers are staying within the collection and with their respective groups. Sometime somebody will write an outstanding in-depth story or guide about this drama, revealing the true causes behind why each groups thought they’d dibs on Palou. Till then, I’ll nonetheless scratch my bald head over all of it. This dispute appeared – not less than on the floor – to be messy and uncomfortable for a lot of events concerned. At its boiling level, the squabble additionally stole media consideration and fan oxygen from the unimaginable race for the Astor Problem Cup throughout the second half of the season. I wouldn’t thoughts seeing a extra standard Foolish Season in 2023, if regular exists anymore with sports activities contracts.

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