McLaren Rosenqvist’s future ‘it all depends on Ballou’

In the opening practice of the Nashville Musical City Grand Prix, Rosenqvist looked as strong as he did on another bumpy street course, Toronto, where he went to finish on the podium. Today, he was the second-fastest player, ahead of all but rookie Christian Lundgaard.

However, Rosenqvist’s job is threatened by McLaren’s signing of defending champion Alex Palou – a matter set to go to court, given that current Palou Team Chip Ganassi Racing claims to have the rights to its 2023 driver. Although Arrow McLaren SP is taking Expanding to three cars next year, the arrival of the current Pato Aard and newcomer Alexander Rossi has been confirmed.

When asked about the status of his contract with McLaren – Which seemed to be somewhat clarified in late June But now it’s being called into question again – Rosenqvist seemed unwilling to discuss it, saying it was a private matter between him and McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

“I prefer not to talk about contracts,” said the 30-year-old Swede, who scored two poles this year. “That’s why they are contracts, because they are made for you and the other signatory. The public doesn’t know.

However, he pushed in this regard, he admitted: “I’m mainly focused on staying with my current team, AMSP… We’ve done well in the last two races. I’m excited to be working with my engineers, mechanic. It’s obviously another car that will come to the general team. Next I think it all depends on the Baloo case what happens with me.

“But, yeah, that’s all I’m focused on right now. I’m just trying to win the race. I think we’ve been close a few times. Just focus on doing well and winning races. That’s pretty much all I can do… Try not to get distracted by what’s going on. in the background.”

Rosenqvist played down the impact of reports of McLaren signing Ballou and Oscar Piastre on him.

“These things don’t worry me at all. You read things. You also don’t know what is true or not. There are obviously a lot of rumours, people who think they know what’s going on. What is the truth in reality, these are just people who know” .

However, he then agreed that “we’ve never seen a case like this happen now. Yeah, at least you guys get something to write about! That’s a good thing in the end.”

The contractual situation with Piastri in Formula 1 – where Alpine announced it was promoting the 2021 F2 champion to the race team for 2023, before Piastri denied him, and later emerged that McLaren wanted him to replace the underperforming Daniel Ricciardo – was “obviously a shock”. But he added, “We don’t know what really happened. Perhaps this is just an obvious deal that was made and everything was done the right way. Like we don’t know it. That’s why I don’t really weigh an opinion.

“The shock factor is definitely big. It’s big news. But if it’s true or false, whatever it is, I’m not the one to judge it.”

Rosenqvist said his special situation was “basically a distraction” for the 7th branch of the Arrow McLaren SP crew, and he audibly wondered if it had led to the problem that he lost so much straight-line speed while driving the Indy road last week, due to drag brakes.

“This is not the best case,” he said. “I think we did a good job focusing, but…we had a series of mechanical failures, and a few bugs here and there. I’m sure those things don’t help.”

He later added, “I think I’m always in favor of negotiating or doing deals here and there. The thing I think is off-season, not the season. Obviously, this whole thing opened very early in the year. I think it’s not the best option for our team. I think It affects the people in the organization. That’s not good.

“But that is the case, isn’t it? Like it happens. We are professionals. We have to take for granted, it’s not just me, like I said; it affects the other guys on the team… but you just have to jump in the car and put on your helmet and forget about it. End of the day, It’s that simple. I’m just driving. It’s what I have to do better than ever now.”

When asked if he was really able to focus in these circumstances, Rosenqvist said: “I would lie if I said the pressure isn’t higher. Certainly the pressure goes up naturally during the season. When you don’t know what you’re going to do, it’s always important to perform. It’s just a fact. .

“I think I respond really well to that. I always have pressure, but I feel like maybe I escalated a little bit because things got blurry. That’s a good thing, right? Maybe I need to be in this situation all the time!”

When asked if he would take other IndyCar avenues should the McLaren team relationship end, Rosenqvist replied, “We’ll see.”