Arrow McLaren on the clock to secure 2025 lineup

With the NTT IndyCar Series’ biggest free agent in Josef Newgarden taken off the table last week with a new multi-year extension to stay with Team Penske, the focus shifts to Arrow McLaren and its pair of high-profile seats to fill.

Its current lineup of Chevy entries — Pato O’Ward in the No. 5, rookie Theo Pourchaire in the No. 6 and Alexander Rossi in the No. 7 — has been formidable; among the trio, only O’Ward is locked into a long-term contract beyond 2024.

As the IndyCar season heads towards the halfway point, the team led by Gavin Ward has O’Ward sitting fourth in the championship with one victory and another podium, Rossi sitting directly behind him in fifth on the strength of six top-10 results, and Pourchaire — a part-time substitute who will contest the rest of the races — showing he’s capable of big things.


Based on the output and greater potential of its Mexican-American-French roster, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says today’s lineup could very well be its future lineup, but first, negotiations with Rossi need to reach a conclusion.

“I always think getting any big decisions done early is important,” Brown told RACER. “Whether that’s Kyle Larson signed and announced early for the [Indy] 500, or (McLaren Formula 1 drivers) Lando (Norris’) renewal done, Oscar (Piastri’s) renewal done early.

“We’ve got Pato signed for the long term. We’re very happy with Alexander Rossi. We think Theo is doing an excellent job after being thrown in the deep end. We’ve got two seats to get done, and we feel very happy with the two guys that are currently in those seats.”

RACER understands Rossi and Pourchaire share in Brown’s enthusiasm to remain with the team in 2025 and beyond. But if that were to change for either or both drivers, there’s free agent talent elsewhere in the paddock, starting with recent Arrow McLaren stand-in Callum Ilott, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay to consider for the Nos. 6 and 7 Chevys.

“And at the same time, there’s a couple of free agents that have our attention,” Brown added. “So I think we will work to get something done in the next 30 to 60 days to lock in both seats. I’m confident we’ll have a stellar lineup for next year.”

It would be a surprise if the package of O’Ward-Rossi-Pourchaire doesn’t return next year, and at the core of the effort, Brown wants to establish the year-to-year stability that’s been lacking in the wake of the contractual shenanigans created by Alex Palou — who is being sued by McLaren for an alleged breach of contract — and the pre-season injury saga surrounding David Malukas, who was dropped by the team in late April after being unable to drive during the four season-opening events.

“Obviously we’ve had Palou’s situation, and then David getting injured, so it’s been a bit of musical chairs for us this year,” Brown said. “So we’re all keen to put that behind us, select our three drivers nice and early, get it announced, and focus on racing.”

Story originally appeared on Racer