Daniel Ricciardo landing spots: No. 2 – Arrow McLaren SP (IndyCar)
Here’s where things could get interesting. McLaren entered IndyCar in 2020 by partnering with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to form Arrow McLaren SP, and Arrow McLaren SP have run a two-car team since then. However, it has long been seen as only a matter of time before they run three cars full-time, and that is set to happen next year.
While the team have confirmed that Alexander Rossi, who currently competes for Andretti Autosport, is set to join the team for 2023, it has not been confirmed whether he is actually going to be their third driver.
Pato O’Ward recently signed a contract extension to continue driving the #5 Chevrolet. Felix Rosenqvist, who currently drives the #7 Chevrolet, signed an extension as well, but his contract does not necessarily tie him to McLaren’s IndyCar team. So he could still be replaced.
Tony Kanaan recently stated that “people will fall off their chairs” when they know who Arrow McLaren SP’s third driver will be for 2022, and he said it in response to a question asking whether it would be Rosenqvist or Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay, the two names that had been most commonly linked to the seat. Kanaan stated that it would be neither.
While Kanaan’s quote led some to speculate that it could be Alex Palou or Scott Dixon, since Kanaan is a member of Chip Ganassi Racing, both drivers brushed off those rumors and indicated that they are not speaking to other teams for a 2023 ride.
Daniel Ricciardo moving to Arrow McLaren SP would make perfect sense, if indeed “neither” is the answer to the Rosenqvist/VeeKay question and Palou stays put.
This would prevent Ricciardo and McLaren from totally cutting ties early, and it would also give him a totally new platform where he could aim to rejuvenate his racing career, all while allowing McLaren to pursue a number two driver in Formula 1 who is more along the lines of what they’re looking for.