Rossi optimistic after first Arrow McLaren podium: “There’s still so much potential”

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Photo credit: | Joe Skibinski

In a strong team effort that saw all three Arrow McLaren cars in the top five, Alexander Rossi scored his first podium for the team with a third place finish at Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The former Indy 500 winner made up seven spots yesterday. He took advantage of his alternate tyres in the opening laps to be P5 by lap seven.

His race was then very much against his two teammates and Christian Lundgaard. Rossi extended his final stint and rejoined in 4th. The 31-year-old then passed the Dane for the final podium spot with 10 laps remaining.

“Really proud to get the first podium for the team, the first one as part of Team Chevy. It was a good day. We’ve had a really strong pace on Sundays, we just haven’t gotten the results that we feel like we deserve.”

The winner of the previous visit to the Indianapolis road course, Rossi conceded that, while a great showing, they simply didn’t have the pace of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou.

“I think the 10 car was just stronger. A stronger car will really make any strategy look good. I don’t think we would do anything different if we had to do it again.”

Rossi’s other major issue? “We’re missing a little bit on Saturdays.”

For the second straight race Rossi started 10th, and apart from the lone oval race this season at Texas, those have been his best starts.

“I just haven’t quite found my happy spot for like the ultimate lap. It’s close. It seems like we’re permanently qualifying 10th, 11th or 12th. It’s not a disaster. We’re certainly much better in race pace, or have been so far this year. We’ll get there.

“Our frustration in the fact that we’re qualifying 10th, that’s a good sign. There’s still so much potential. The whole group, not just my car.”

The whole group—Rossi, Pato O’Ward, and Felix Rosenqvist—has thus far combined for seven top-five finishes in five races, and Rossi is certain the best is yet to come.

“There’s things that we know that we need to improve. It’s very clear objectives that we need to improve upon. When we unlock it all, it’s going to be a really cool thing for three cars out there.”