Rumor: Alexander Rossi to move to Arrow McLaren team (3rd Update)

This rumor is upgraded to ‘fact’ today. Rossi is out at Andretti Autosport (and will soon be confirmed at Arrow McLaren SP) and will be replaced by the talented rookie Kyle Kirkwood.

Andretti Autosport has today announced that NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie and 2021 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire Champion Kyle Kirkwood will pilot the No. 27 AutoNation Honda starting in the 2023 season, replacing Alexander Rossi.

“I couldn’t be more excited to return to Andretti Autosport next year and represent AutoNation and Honda.” said Kirkwood. “Andretti Autosport is a place I’ve called home for years past and I have truly felt like family. I have a ton of loyalty to the team, and it means a lot to have Michael and the Andretti team offer me this opportunity. AutoNation has been doing great work in raising awareness and funding for cancer research. I’m honored to Drive Pink (DRVPNK) next season.”

Andretti Autosport improves their talent pool with the hiring of Kyle Kirkwood to replace Alexander Rossi. Photo by Penske Entertainment: Chris Owens

Kirkwood continued, “I have worked extremely hard this season and will continue to work harder every day for the A.J. Foyt team. I want to thank the entire team at A.J. Foyt Racing for giving me the opportunity to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The group on the No. 14 car have been incredible and I am beyond grateful to them for all the amazing experiences we have been able to share together so far this season.”

AutoNation, America’s largest and most admired automotive retailer, will serve as the primary sponsor for the full 2023 racing calendar as they drive towards $35 million donated in the fight against cancer. As a long-time partner with the championship-winning organization, AutoNation and DRVPNK have appeared on race cars across the Andretti Autosport INDYCAR team since 2014.

“We really enjoyed having Kyle as part of our Indy Lights team and he’s off to a strong start in INDYCAR,” said Andretti Autosport Chairman and CEO Michael Andretti. “I think he’ll bring a fresh perspective and will be competitive. We are looking forward to helping him continue his career growth.

“AutoNation first joined the team eight years ago and we’ve been thrilled to see how their support has continued to grow over the years. We’ve seen a lot of successes both on and off the track and are excited to see what Kyle and AutoNation can do together for the DRVPNK campaign.”

“We are excited to welcome Kyle to the team and for the passion and commitment he will bring to our mission to drive out cancer, through DRVPNK,” said Marc Cannon, AutoNation CXO and EVP. “We would also like to wish Alexander all the best and thank him for his endless efforts to support AutoNation’s mission to drive out cancer over the years.”

With this move, it is confirmed that Alexander Rossi will depart the team at the conclusion of the 2022 season after seven years. Together, Rossi and Andretti have captured seven wins, including the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in Rossi’s rookie 2016 INDYCAR campaign.

“Alexander has been a great contender for us, and we’ve enjoyed having him as part of the team for seven seasons,” added Andretti. “He’s won races and become a leader in the team, but all careers and all teams evolve, and we’ve mutually decided it’s time for each of us to move on. I have no doubt he’ll have a continued, successful INDYCAR career and we wish him the best. In the meantime, we are all working hard to finish the 2022 season strong.”

May 31, 2022 

Front Office Sports reports that the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team will expand to 3 full-time cars in 2023, the third rumored to be for Rossi.

“We want to have a bigger North American platform than our competitors in Formula 1,” McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown told Front Office Sports.

“Now that Liberty [Media] is putting a cost cap in place [on Formula 1], we see profitability is right around the corner.”

F1 parent Liberty Media introduced a spending limit of $145 million for each team last year, which dropped to $140 million this year and will be $135 million in 2023.

“Without a cost cap in place, the sport was about who could afford to lose the most,” said Brown, adding that many car companies saw racing expenses “as great advertising dollars.”

May 25, 2022 

The rumors are getting stronger that Alexander Rossi will be moving on in 2023.

Look for Alexander Rossi to be confirmed at the Arrow McLaren Chevy team on or before July 1st.

The Andretti team’s relatively poor qualifying performance at Indy just underscores that Rossi will be looking for a change of scenery in 2023.  You could sense in his short 1 sentence or one word answer to questions after qualifying that he was very frustrated.

We are still hearing that Kyle Kirkwood will replace Rossi in the #27 Andretti Honda in 2023.

One has to wonder if the McLaren team will give Rossi a test in one of their F1 cars.  Rossi had a F1 Super License and never got a proper crack at F1 when he graduated up from GP2 (now F2).   He drove for the back of the grid Manor Marussia team and beat his teammate, so he still has unfinished business in F1.

While McLaren F1 is going to test Rossi’s Andretti teammate Colton Herta later this year with a possible eye he could replace Daniel Ricciardo, what a shock it would be if McLaren were to also test Rossi in their F1 car, and it is he who replaces underperforming Daniel Ricciardo instead of Herta!

A couple of years ago Rossi said he had moved on from F1 and his focus would be IndyCar Racing, but signing with McLaren possibly opens up the door to a F1 team that is a proven winner.

May 5, 2022 

Although he turned in a solid performance in the race at Barber on Sunday, the strong rumor in the IndyCar paddock has Alexander Rossi moving to the Arrow McLaren Chevy team in 2023.

The results have not been there for Rossi at Andretti.  He stroked it to the finish to luck into the Indy 500 win in 2016, but he had a few solid wins since then at places like Long Beach, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen.

Other than that, Rossi has made numerous errors on the track, his teams has made errors in the pits, and what appeared to be a match made in heaven now appears destined for a split.

Andretti subbed out Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood to AJ Foyt Racing for 2022, but word is he will be back to replace Rossi in the #27 Andretti Honda next year.

Kirkwood has driven well for the Foyt team, the car doing better than anyone expected, which underscores just how talented Kirkwood is.



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